Arsenal first choice defender out of Manchester United clash

Arsenal captain, Laurent Koscielny limped out of his Arsenal comeback on Tuesday night, potentially prolonging the achillies injury sustained in the Europa League semi-final in May that forced him to miss the World Cup.

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The defender turned out for Arsenal U21s against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy, his second competitive appearance of the season following on from 45 minutes for the U23s against Derby in November.

Tuesday’s game represented a step up in the recovery process, playing against Pompey’s senior side in the EFL’s hybrid competition that pits Premier League U21 teams against Football League clubs. But the France international was forced off towards the end of the second half.

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Koscielny didn’t appear to be involved in any collision immediately prior to his withdrawal, and left the pitch flanked by the team physio.

The 33-year-old has been missing from the first team since injuring his Achilles during the Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in May, an injury which robbed him of the chance to participate in France’s World Cup win in Russia.

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Koscielny has made 324 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 24 goals since joining the side in 2010.

“It was a bit sad [because] he signaled to me before their goal that he had cramp. I told him to go down, he wasn’t injured. It was just cramp, but unfortunately he couldn’t move. We understood that he wasn’t worried at all, it was just some cramp,” Arsenal U21 boss Freddie Ljungberg told the Islington Gazette.

Arsenal have largely coped in the absence of their club skipper, with defensive cover provided by summer signings Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

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Unai Emery’s side are 19 games unbeaten in all competitions following Sunday’s 4-2 North London derby win against Tottenham.

Kenny Jackett’s League One outfit ran out 2-1 winners on Tuesday night in round two of the tournament’s southern section at Fratton Park, with goals from Brett Pitman and Andre Green seeing them through.

Bukayo Saka had briefly leveled for Arsenal’s youngsters, who are led by former Premier League title-winner and Sweden international Freddie Ljungberg.

Image result for Koscielny forced off in Arsenal U21 comeback at Portsmouth

1 thought on “Arsenal first choice defender out of Manchester United clash

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