Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny will be able to play for the Gunners in Sunday’s Community Shield against Chelsea, having been cleared by the FA.
Despite picking up a three-match ban at the end of last season following a red card against Everton, the 31-year-old will be available for selection as the Football Association deem the Community Shield as a friendly competition, reports the Mirror.
The sending off against Everton led Koscielny to miss the FA Cup final win over Chelsea, but his availability might actually prove to be a distraction for manager Arsene Wenger.
The French international will only be around for one game before missing a further two, so the Arsenal boss needs to decide whether or not to feature Koscielny in the Community Shield at all. The lack of options might force him to play the defender.
Gabriel Paulista is still out injured, Calum Chambers isn’t expected to be in and around the first-team and Per Mertesacker is likely to play more of an off-field influence this season. Wenger isn’t blessed with depth as a result so the Frenchman may need to start.
It will be disappointing to lose such a key player for the start of the Premier League season, especially given how much Arsenal have suffered in the openings of campaigns previously. But having Koscielny for the Community Shield is still a boost.