Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has confirmed he is now back to full fitness and ready to help the Gunners back into the top four as 2015 approaches.
The French international made his comeback in the 2-1 win over West Ham at the weekend, playing a full 90 minutes for the first time since the 1-0 win over Southampton at the start of December.
Koscielny's return is a timely boost for Arsenal and boss Arsene Wenger, who has struggled badly with defensive injuries this season.
The 29-year-old says he is relieved to be back in action following his knee injury, and admits he was growing frustrated with being forced to watch from the sidelines.
"For players it's very important to be on the pitch," he told Arsenal Player. "I spent a long time without football and it was very hard for me to stay and watch my team play. I'm very happy to come back with my team-mates on the pitch and to play football."
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"[West Ham] was not an easy game, it was a tough game. It was an English game because it was box-to-box and I think the last 20 minutes was amazing because each team tried to win the game.
"At the back we needed to be focused on our job and I think we did well. During this period over Christmas it's very important to win and we did well with three wins, so we need to keep this going and keep focused for the New Year.
"Now the players who have been injured are coming back so it's good for the team when you have all the players with you and fit. We have a bigger squad so I hope we will not have a lot of injuries in 2015 and we can finish this season well."
It remains unclear whether Wenger will risk playing Koscielny in the game on New Year's Day against Southampton, given his time out though injury it would seem foolhardy to make him play twice in a matter of days.
Arsenal are currently fifth in the Premier League going into the new year and will be looking to leapfrog the Saints with a win at St Mary's.
With Mathieu Debuchy back in action and now Koscielny following close behind, Arsenal are looking much stronger heading into the new year.
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