Arsene Wenger has called on France boss Didier Deschamps to rest Laurent Koscielny for next week’s friendly against Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
The Gunners have been hit with some bad news over the international break with Alexis Sanchez having picked up a hamstring problem while Hector Bellerin has withdrawn from Spain Under-21 duty with ankle ligament damage.
France take on Sweden in World Cup qualifying on Friday night and while Wenger is happy for him to play, he says there is no need for him to take part in Tuesday’s friendly.
“I’ve never tried to prevent a player from international duty. When it’s a competitive game I never intervene,” he said via The Telegraph.
“When it’s a friendly game, for example now Koscielny goes to the French national team, having played every single game apart from the first game of the season with us.
“France plays a friendly with Ivory Coast in the second game on Tuesday night. I can’t see the purpose of Koscielny playing the second game.
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“I understand completely him playing against Sweden, it’s difficult to understand him playing the whole game against Ivory Coast because afterwards we play at Manchester United and then Paris Saint Germain.
“If it’s not needed, you try to find a compromise that suits both parties. I could ring [Didier Deschamps], but most of the time I don’t do it.
“Most of the guys who are national coaches have been inside the clubs and they know the problems you have and are well aware of what you face.”
Wenger also admitted that he found the international break stressful as he waited for news on how his players had fared and their physical condition.
“You’re always on the phone before the game, but especially after the game to see what happened and how they played. Did anyone come off injured, you wait for your statements from your physics because they are in touch with the national associations,” he added.
“We have an hour afterwards where we text each other, myself and the physics, to ask: ‘are they alright? Oh, we’ve got this injury, we’ve got that injury.’
“Before you start the game, sometimes you have a sleepless night because some of your players have been injured and sometimes you are angry because they play a friendly game, they are overloaded with games and instead of being taken off they play the full 90 minutes.”
Wenger’s desire to see Koscielny rested are understandable particularly in light of the injuries to Bellerin and Sanchez and with a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United immediately after the international break.