Laurent Koscielny was subbed off at half time against Leicester City, and there were concerns he’d miss not only our clash against Hull this weekend, but also our Champions League match against Barcelona. There’s good news though, as the Frenchman is set for a return to training this week, and should be available for our FA Cup fixture on the weekend, as reported by the Metro.
As the report suggests, we’re also without Gabriel Paulista at the moment – who missed our last Premier League game with a hamstring injury. If we were forced to face not only Hull City without them, but Barcelona too, then we really could have struggled. Not only because being without arguably two of our best defenders would have been a blow, but also because if Calum Chambers were required to play centre-back then there would be nobody to fill in when Hector Bellerin needs a rest.
Koscielny may still be rested this weekend, as Chambers filled in excellently when he came on for his more experienced teammate. It all comes down to who Arsene Wenger believes needs more of a rest, as if it’s Bellerin then Koscielny may be called upon.
Mathieu Debuchy’s departure this past January may not seem like a big miss, but it could have a knock-on effect unfortunately. Chambers is now not only our sole backup at right-back, but still remains our fourth choice centre-back. An injury to Bellerin suddenly leaves us incredibly light in two key areas, so we need to hope the Spaniard is able to remain fit.
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Hopefully Koscielny recovers quickly, and is joined by Gabriel Paulista soon after. We can’t afford any more injuries this season if we want to continue to challenge for silverware, and our lack of business in January could come back to haunt us if we aren’t careful.