Laurent Koscielny makes comeback with U23s run-out

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Laurent Koscielny travelled a little further down the comeback trail this evening as he played his first minutes of football since rupturing his Achilles tendon in May.

The Arsenal captain started for Freddie Ljungberg’s U23s against Derby County on what was a difficult night for the underage side.

They lost 5-0, finishing the game with 9 men as both Jordi Osei-Tutu (who replaced Koscielny) and Daniel Ballard were sent off within five minutes of each other. Derby also had a man dismissed but took full advantage, scoring three times in the final 20 minutes.

However, from a senior point of view, the return to action for Koscielny is very welcome, although he is likely to need more time before he’s considered for selection by Unai Emery.

When he is available though, he’ll give the head coach more depth and take away some of the risk of playing with a back three as he won’t be using all his available central defenders.

Meanwhile, the absence of Julio Pleguezuelo from tonight’s U23 game hints at his involvement in the Europa League game on Thursday, with Emery’s team selection made with Sunday’s North London derby in mind.

The Gunners face an arduous journey to Ukraine for the encounter with Vorskla, and it’s widely expected that we’ll see a very young and fringe team for that particular match.

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Mario
Mario

…welcome back, Captain!

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Great to have him back, but I’m actually more excited with Julio getting more of a chance this week at the Europa.

Until we’re back in the CL making CL money, we’re gonna have to find value and quality within. That’s gonna mean more chances for academy prospects.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

None of Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Julio Pleguezuelo and Zech Medley were involved, meaning they may all get a shot against Vorskla.

utk
utk

Really hope Nketiah gets the start he deserves and surely it should come with welbeck out

sAMa
sAMa

I hope Nketiah doesn’t disappoint cus so much hype about him.

Thierry Walcott
Thierry Walcott

He can’t disappoint if he doesn’t play at all… Let’s first hope that he plays, then when he starts playing we’ll hope that he doesn’t disappoint.

Faisal Narrag
Faisal Narrag

I think only the crazy will be disappointed if a kid doesn’t do the spectacular in his first start in many months in a Europa game.

People just want him to play, few are expecting him to score a hat trick or even score.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Welcome back, Bosscielny.

Richie

Probably too soon but it would be good to see Kos get 45 minutes on Thursday.

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Welcome back Boss!

Mark
Mark

Great that Kos is back, but Emery needs to go very cautious with him after such a devastating injury at his age with his history of achilles issues.

Jack
Jack

He should be good and ready for our last Europa group game!

Bendtnerschristmastree
Bendtnerschristmastree

Yes! And hopefully a couple of u23 games before then.

santori
santori

Great to have him back. Will take some time to work back in no doubt and likely to be used more sparingly this season but his availability can and will be critical.

Mavropanos is still largely unproven so the experience Laurent brings will help particularly if say Sokratis gets knocked again which at 29yrs could become an issue.

We need the experienced head at the back.

Sokratis has been great doling out instructions for us this season and spurring the team on, keeping them switched on, making sure his partners make sensible choices.