Laurent Koscielny has sent a message to the Arsenal fans after his return to the first-team against Qarabag on Thursday night.

After a couple of appearances for the u23s, Arsenal’s club captain finally got back out onto the pitch for the first-team in midweek, after seven months on the sidelines. He managed 72 minutes before coming off for Nacho Monreal, and he helped the Gunners keep a clean sheet for a fifth consecutive Europa League game.

The joy on Koscielny’s face after completing his appearance and coming off unscathed was obvious to see, and he punched the air in celebration to cheers from the crowd.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal reacts as he is substituted during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Arsenal and Qarabag FK at Emirates Stadium on December 13, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 13: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal reacts as he is substituted during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Arsenal and Qarabag FK at Emirates Stadium on December 13, 2018, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Afterwards, the defender spoke to Arsenal Media to send a message to the supporters, which he later posted to his Instagram page, saying:

“Hello everyone, thank you very much for your support tonight. For me, it was an important day. I’m happy to share this day with you so thank you very much and see you soon. Come on Gunners!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrXEKhNlDYn/

As a fan, it’s easy to forget or ignore all the hard work that goes into these kinds of comebacks.

If a player gets injured, someone takes their place in the team. You don’t get to see the months of rehabilitation the absentee undergoes, just their eventual return. It’s only when you see reactions like Koscielny’s that you realise what an achievement it is to come back to the top level.

We all hope Koscielny returns to his best and gives Arsenal a big season, but just getting this far is worthy of congratulations. Well done, Laurent!

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.