Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is delighted to see Laurent Koscielny back to his best and back to full fitness, after he confirmed that a calf injury in pre-season has hampered his progression.

The French defender was in the starting line-up on Wednesday night and was a key member to the team that kept a clean sheet in the Allianz Arena. Koscielny was picked ahead of club captain Thomas Vermaelen, and the decision proved to be right as Arsenal won the game and produced a solid defensive display.

Wenger was delighted with Koscielny's performance on Wednesday night and he is happy to see the Frenchman return to both fitness and form.

"He was outstanding on Wednesday night," the boss said. "He has shown a bit more authority than usual and when he gets into that frame of mind, you can see he has outstanding qualities.

"It’s something I know he has but he needs that authority in his game to get his qualities completely out.

"He says that he was disturbed in his preparation [in pre-season]. In our final game in Cologne, he had a calf injury. It took him a long, long time to come back and after that he had many setbacks through the season.

"And every time he was close to coming back, he had another injury or sickness. He was sick a lot this year."

Koscielny and Mertesacker were selected for the decisive Champions League clash in Germany, and Wenger insists that rotation of the centre-backs is important for the side, after leaving out club captain Vermaelen.

"They [Koscielny and Mertesacker] do well together - it is true," Wenger said. "I can’t see any obvious reason why Per and Vermaelen should not do well together.

"I have not analysed all the games they have played together because I have played Vermaelen and Koscielny together in some big games as well.

"You think that should work as well because they are two good football players. Because we want to play football they should work well - and one is right footed and one is left footed.”

 

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Arsenal
Football
Premier League
Laurent Koscielny