Hector Bellerin admits Arsenal will find it difficult without Laurent Koscielny in their defence when they take on Chelsea in next Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The France international will serve a three-match ban after receiving a straight red card from referee Michael Oliver for a reckless challenge on Everton’s Enner Valencia in the 14th minute of the Gunners 3-1 win over Everton on the final day of the Premier League season.
With Shkodran Mustafi missing the game due to illness and Gabriel stretchered off with a knee problem in the second half, the Gunners turned to captain Per Mertesacker who made his first appearance of the season.
Speaking after the win, Bellerin lamented the absence of Koscielny and Arsenal’s failure to secure Champions League football despite a strong run at the tail-end of the season.
“He’s a player who is very important to us and has worked hard throughout the year for us,” he told Arsenal.com.
“To miss him in the last game is going to be difficult.”
He added: “Since we changed to the new system, things have been working really well.
“It’s been a great run of form to build up the momentum and, even though it’s not got us Champions League football, at least we’re going to get to the FA Cup final with a great mood and environment in the dressing room. It was good to build up to it.”