Laurent Koscielny to make Arsenal return in the Europa League

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on January 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery announced Laurent Koscielny will make his return to the senior team on Thursday night against Qarabag

The 33-year-old defender ruptured his Achilles tendon in the second leg of Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in May and hasn’t featured since.

But Koscielny’s recently played for the Arsenal youth teams a couple of times this season and was on the bench in their 1-0 Premier League win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Now Emery intends to give the Arsenal captain a welcome return to senior-level football in what will be a heavily changed team at the Emirates Stadium.

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“Our first mind in this competition is to be first in the group – which we have done – but we respect this competition and Qarabag,” said Emery, according to Sports Mole.

“Tomorrow our objective is to win, we will give players chance to take responsibility and confidence.

“We are going to use tomorrow with some different players, with some coming from Under-23s. We also start to play with Laurent Koscielny.”

Koscielny will be assessed after the game on Thursday before any decisions are made over his availability for this Sunday’s trip to Southampton.

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