According to Sky Sports, Laurent Koscielny is back training with the rest of the Arsenal squad and could walk out in red and white – for the first time since suffering a serious leg injury in May’s Europa League semi-final against Athletico Madrid – after the international break.
Gunners boss Unai Emery said: “He (Koscielny) is close to being with us and also (playing) in the competition games but, at the moment, we are happy with him, he is feeling well. He is getting better every day and we are going to think after the internationals.”
Arsenal visit Bournemouth on November 25 in the Premier League before a Thursday night trip to Vorskla Poltava four days later, with the latter the likely return date as Emery aims to slowly reintroduce the French defender into the line-up.
Former Valencia man Shkodran Mustafi is likely to be the one that suffers the most from Koscielny’s return to action.
The German has been at fault this season on a few occasions, most notably giving away a silly penalty at Crystal Palace to allow the hosts to take the lead, but was back to his best during the draw with Liverpool at the weekend.
‘Inconsistent’ is the word that first comes to mind when discussing the 26-year-old and while Emery has had little choice but to continue to start him while Koscielny and Sokratis Papasthathopolous are both held back, once either and/or both are match fit, the defender’s security in the starting XI will undoubtedly come into question.
Rob Holding has been in fantastic form so it would be very harsh to drop the 23-year-old, and Mustafi needs to be on his toes in the coming weeks otherwise he could be warming the bench come December.