Laurent Koscielny ruled out for six months with ankle injury as Arsenal captain will miss 2018 World Cup

Arsene Wenger revealed that Koscielny may not play again this year after injuring his Achilles tendon in the Europa League defeat by Atletico Madrid

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 08 May 2018 10:10
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Arsene Wenger on Laurent Koscielny's injury

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out for six months after undergoing surgery on his ankle, ending his chances of playing in the 2018 World Cup this summer with France.

The 32-year-old ruptured his Achilles tendon early in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final second leg defeat by Atletico Madrid last week, with France Football manager Didier Deschamps already announcing that he did not expect to have the defender available in Russia next month.

But Arsene Wenger revealed in his penultimate pre-match press conference on Tuesday that the Frenchman has undergone surgery on the injury and will be lucky to play again this year, meaning he will miss the first half of the 2018/19 Premier League season that leaves Arsenal extremely light on both defensive options and natural leaders.

“He is of course devastated because he has had surgery,” said Wenger. “He will be out for six months. You will not see him before the beginning of December at best.”

He added: “We always try to be positive but overall you can only try to support people when they suffer because they suffer of course from a situation like this. It is a bit surprising because when people have an inflamed tendon they don’t tend to rupture, so in this case it is surprising."

Speaking over the weekend, France manager Deschamps said: "It’s a very big blow. Laurent is an exemplary player.

“I am really very sad for him because this World Cup was also a very important moment for him in his career.”

Wenger also announced that Santi Cazorla will not feature in either of Arsenal's final two league games this season against Leicester and Huddersfield Town, with the matches coming too soon in his return from his own nightmare Achilles injury. Cazorla returned to training for the first time last week, having not played a game since October 2016, but despite making his intentions clear to target a comeback this season, Wenger ruled out risking the Spaniard.

Laurent Koscielny could miss the rest of the year after surgery

With much attention on midfielder Mesut Özil due to his absence from the side in the Premier League, Wenger revealed that the German was at the club's training base on Monday for treatment on his back injury, but is unlikely to play again for Arsenal this season. However, he is expected to be fit for Germany's World Cup campaign.

Cazorla has been out since October 2016

With Per Mertesacker retiring from professional football this month to join Arsenal’s backroom staff, the Gunner will start next season without their manager, captain and vice-captain from the current campaign, signalling the drastic change that will come with Wenger’s impending exit.

The new manager will inherit four fit options at centre-back in Shodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and emerging teenager Konstantinos Mavropanos, although whether the new manager – once appointed – decides to stick with this squad or undergo a radical overhaul remains to be seen.

The Independent revealed on Monday that current Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is the club’s No 1 target to replace Wenger, and the 68-year-old Frenchman used his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Leicester City to stress the importance of tying down his replacement – with former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique also strongly linked with the job.

"The earlier the better, people want hope and need to prepare for next season," Wenger added.

"These guys are very competent and are good names.”

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