The Gunners caught a lucky break against Southampton this weekend and are now gearing up to get their Champions League campaign going against PSG. However, one of their best performers so far this season in Laurent Koscielny could miss the big game.
The French centre-back was voted Arsenal’s Player of the Month for August for his solid performances for the Gunners. He was influential on both ends of the pitch in their game against Southampton at the Emirates on Saturday, scoring a beautiful overhead goal as well as marshalling the defence expertly in the home side’s 2-1 victory.
However, things ended on a sour note for Koscielny as he took a kick to the face in the closing minutes of the game from Saints defender Jose Fonte. The Times are now reporting that he missed Arsenal’s training session on Monday and is a major doubt for the mid-week game against PSG.
The report adds that his right eye was almost completely closed because of the injury. An Arsenal medical team will evaluate his situation before the team travels to Paris.
Arsenal have been struggling with a weakened defence since the beginning of the season. Veteran German centre-back Per Mertesacker is out with a long term injury, while his back-up Gabriel Paulista has just returned to training after being ruled out for over a month with an ankle ligament injury.
The Gunners were boosted by the arrival of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia, but it looks like it’s back to square one for Arsene Wenger. The injury to Koscielny means that he will most likely have to turn to another summer signing in 20-year-old Rob Holding to partner Mustafi in central defence.
Holding played in all three games before the German defender’s arrival and managed to put in some decent performances alongside Koscielny. However, the club would have much preferred their best centre-back for one of the biggest games for them this season. Facing PSG at the Parc des Princes is a daunting prospect, and it remains to be seen how Arsenal fare without their top defender.