Arsenal team news: Emery confirms key man could miss Brighton clash

By on May 3, 2019

Laurent-Koscielny arsenal

Unai Emery has confirmed Laurent Koscielny is a doubt for Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

Koscielny was recalled to the starting eleven for our Europa League semi-final first leg tie with Valencia on Thursday night having initially been named on the bench for last weekend’s defeat at Leicester.

However, the 33-year-old was unable to complete the full ninety minutes as he was seen struggling with an apparent Achilles issue midway through the second half.

Koscielny soldiered on until he was eventually replaced by Nacho Monreal with 10 minutes remaining and he looked in some discomfort as he limped off the field during the 3-1 victory.

As I’m sure many will recall, Koscielny ruptured his Achilles during last year’s semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid and he’s had to manage the injury ever since, and it seems he aggregated the problem last night.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Emery admitted that Koscielny was struggling in the second half against Valencia so was withdrawn as a precaution but he’s not sure if the centre-back will be able to face Brighton on Saturday.

Worryingly, the Arsenal boss also cast doubt over whether Koscielny would be available for the crucial Europa League semi-final second leg in Spain next Thursday night.

Emery told Arsenal.com:

“I hope that Koscielny is going to be okay for Sunday [against Brighton] and the second leg away, but I don’t know,”

“Laurent was very tired and he ran back with the transitions in the second half 50 metres for a sprint, and it’s normal that he can be tired or struggling.

“I prefer to change him to give this 10 minutes to Nacho Monreal after his small injuries, to help us and to save minutes for Laurent Koscielny.”

Let’s pray Koscielny hasn’t suffered any serious damage and he’s able to recover quickly as it would be a huge blow to lose him at such a crucial stage of the season.

Arsenal are still battling Chelsea to finish fourth in the Premier League and could face our London rivals in the Europa League final if we get past Valencia and Koscielny’s availability would be important over the coming games.

Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey won’t play again this season due to a hamstring injury while Denis Suarez has seen his campaign ended by a groin problem so they are out along with Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding.