Koscielny closing in on Arsenal return

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery says defender Laurent Koscielny could be back in action soon after the international break.

Koscielny has been absent since suffering a serious leg injury during the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid at the start of May.

But he is now training with the Arsenal squad and could be eased back into the first-team picture following the international break, which comes after Sunday’s game with Wolves.

Emery said: “The most important is his feeling every day and that he can feel better at each training.

“He 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.

“I hope we can continue working and start to think about him playing games.”

After the international break, Arsenal play Bournemouth on November 25 before a Europa League game against Vorskla Poltava (29 November) which could be an opportune time for Koscielny to get some minutes.

Arsenal welcome Sporting Lisbon to the Emirates on Thursday night – and a victory would secure qualification for the knockout stages.

Emery said: “We find our focus in two ways.

“One is this competition is very important for us. It’s one way to a title and to get into the Champions League next year.

“The second focus is on our work, to continue improving. Above all, I want to continue at the Emirates with our supporters, with the same spirit as in the same matches as against Blackpool, Leicester, Liverpool.

“Tomorrow is a very good test for us and for those two ways. They are a team with very good players and a very good history in this competition.

“They changed the coach, but I think it is a big match for them to play for first position against us. But we want to give a big match with our personality.

“Of course the first (aim) for us is to finish first in this group.

“Tomorrow is a very important match because they are second in the table and, if we win, we are first in the group. That’s our clear target tomorrow.”


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