With the disappointing Premier League campaign on the verge of ending, Arsenal have just one thing left to play for this season: the Europa League. Unfortunately, the Gunners may have just lost one of their most influential defenders to a devastating injury.
Central defender Laurent Koscielny was taken off the pitch on Thursday evening on a stretcher after suffering an apparent leg injury. Koscielny was near midfield marking Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa when he suddenly went down in a heap and grabbed his right leg in pain.
We do not yet know the severity of the injury, but you can bet losing Koscielny will hamper Arsenal’s chances of advancing considerably. There are many betting sites to choose from out there, but updated odds would suggest that losing a defender of Koscielny’s calibre may be a death knell for the Gunners’ season.
Arsenal’s training staff attended to the France international for several minutes before eventually being carried off. There is no word yet on the immediate extent of the injury, but Koscielny looked devastated with his head in his hands as he was being stretchered away. Replays appeared to show a potential Achilles injury, though it’s too soon to speculate.
If Koscielny did suffer a serious Achilles injury, his season for Arsenal will obviously be over. The injury would also likely rule Koscielny out for the upcoming World Cup in Russia. The 32-year-old veteran was expected to play a big role for Didier Deschamps’ side in Russia. He started France’s friendlies against Wales last November and in Russia back in March.
Koscielny was set for a battle for a starting spot with Raphael Varane for the right to play alongside Samuel Umtiti.
The injury is particularly cruel because this is not the first time the Frenchman has dealt with a potential Achilles issue. The area has been a sensitive spot for him in the past, and he was quoted as saying about a year ago that the area would require regular treatment for the duration of his playing career.
Calum Chambers came on for Arsenal in Koscielny’s spot. The Gunners conceded a goal to Diego Costa to open the scoring just before half-time.
Koscielny has served under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal since coming over from Lorient in 2010. He has scored 19 goals in 238 appearances with the club in addition to a lone tally in 51 caps for the French national side.
Koscielny began his professional career with Guingamp in 2004 before moving to Tours in 2007. He spent a season at Laurient before joining Arsenal, where he has spent the previous eight seasons.