Laurent Koscielny
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal gives his team instructions during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Portsmouth and Arsenal U21 at Fratton Park on December 04, 2018 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

The captain has not played on the first team since he got injured in April in the UEFA Europa League semifinal against Atletico Madrid

Laurent Koscielny is almost back.

The Arsenal captain has not played first-team football since he got injured against Atletico Madrid last April.

But now, he’s working his way towards a return, and Gunners boss Unai Emery says he should be back soon.

“We are on a gradual way with him,” said Emery to the team’s official website.

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After an impressive return from a winter break last week, the Europa League continued with a flourish this week.

“He’s played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday.”

“Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League. He’s working with us with very big performances every day in training,” he added.

“He’s playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.”

“He gives us experience, quality, personality,” added the head coach. “We need every player and we need also for him to train with us. The next step is playing. He can play with us and be with us normally,” he explained.