Arsenal manager Unai Emery has provided a positive feedback on the progress of defender Laurent Koscielny ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash against Huddersfield Town.
The former France international has been out of first-team action since sustaining a serious Achilles injury in the Europa League semi-final defeat at Atletico Madrid.
However, he has recently featured in a couple of games for the Under 23s including a 85 minute outing in the 2-1 Checkatrade trophy defeat to Portsmouth and Emery has now indicated that the club-captain is not far off from a comeback.
In a news conference covered by Arsenal’s official website, Emery praised the Frenchman by citing the experience and quality he would bring into the team, once he is involved on a regular basis.
The Spanish tactician added that Koscielny may potentially return to the matchday 18 for the Huddersfield clash but he may have to wait for his first competitive appearance against Qarabag in the final group stage game of the Europa League.
“We are on a gradual way with him. He’s played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday. Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League,” he said.
Meanwhile, Emery has confirmed that Rob Holding will undergo further tests before the club can reveal the severity of the knee injury sustained against Manchester United in midweek.
In his absence, Stephan Lichtsteiner was called forward to occupy one of the central defensive positions in the 3-4-3 setup but it remains to be seen whether Emery goes with the same formation for the visit of David Wagner’s side.
Arsenal are currently behind the final Champions League qualification spot on goal difference to Chelsea but they have a good chance of leapfrogging their London counterparts who face a difficult test against Manchester City this weekend.
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