Laurent Koscielny has already missed one game this season due to injury, and could miss our clash against Stoke this coming weekend – depending on which reports you believe.
The Frenchman played no part in his side’s Euro 2016 qualifying clash against Serbia on Monday, and the Daily Mail suggests his absence was enforced. The report claims he has aggravated his back injury, and is therefore a doubt for our Emirates clash against Mark Hughes’ Stoke.
Contrasting reports from The Telegraph claim it was simply rotation however, and state that Arsenal are confident both Koscielny and his centre-back partner Per Mertesacker will be fit when we host the Potters.
Losing Koscielny to injury would obviously be a blow, but not as big a blow as it would have been a season or two ago. We finally have some depth in that position, and Gabriel has stepped up excellently when needed.
Many have even been calling for the Brazilian to be made first choice, although have no doubt been hoping our giant German would be the one to make way.
Problems arise when both first-choice centre-backs are missing, as we are then forced to rely on the inexperienced Calum Chambers.
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Hopefully The Telegraph is correct, and Arsene Wenger will be welcoming both men back fully fit and rearing to go. Whatever combination of the three – Koscielny, Mertesacker, and Gabriel – we start with this weekend we should have more than enough about us to see off Stoke, but it would be a huge boost to see Koscielny’s name in the starting lineup.