Laurent Koscielny didn’t play against Benfica on Saturday afternoon – should Arsenal fans be worried?
Despite playing against Chelsea in Bejing during Arsenal’s previous pre-season match, Kos was back on the sub’s bench against Benfica for the Gunners’ 5-2 Emirates Cup win.
Although rotation is part of pre-season and the France international could feature against Seville on Sunday, given the centre-back’s recent back problems, Arsenal fans have reason to be worried.
Kos wasn’t available to face Bayern Munich earlier in pre-season because he was suffering from back problems, which isn’t a new issue for the 31-year-old. In fact, he’s spent 31 days sidelined as a result of them since signing from Lorient in 2010, and that’s not including his most recent flare-up.
Although the defender recently delivered a positive injury update ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea, he admitted that he wasn’t ‘100%’ and hasn’t played since the 3-0 loss.
“My back is better,” he said ahead of Chelsea. “I had a little pain one morning, so I had treatment over the past two days. Today I trained and was OK. Not 100%, but I’m OK for playing. We will see tomorrow.”
Of course, there’s every chance that Kos could be fine and Wenger could be saving him for the match against Sevilla. After all, when the boss delivered his most recent team news, Kos wasn’t mentioned at all and he claimed that “Everyone else is back to fitness.”
Not having Kos in pre-season could be huge. Although he’s Arsenal vice-captain, he was their skipper last season when Per Mertesacker was sidelined. He knows this team and he’s been one of the Gunners’ most consistent players for years.
Hopefully, the defender will be up and running against Sevilla. If not, we have every right to be concerned ahead of the new season.