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Emery: Arsenal must be calm with returning Koscielny

20 October 2018 10:13

Arsenal must show their support for Laurent Koscielny as the defender steps up his comeback from serious injury, according to Unai Emery.

The centre-back has not played since rupturing his Achilles in Arsenal's Europa League semi-final, second leg against Atletico Madrid in May, forcing him to miss France's successful World Cup campaign.

Koscielny announced his international retirement in an interview with Canal+ earlier this month, revealing he had suffered mixed feelings while watching his compatriots triumph in Russia.

The 33-year-old is now back training with his Arsenal team-mates but, after a difficult period in his career, Emery is wary of rushing back a key member of his squad.

"He is very important for us because he is our captain," the Arsenal boss told the club's website.

"He is starting this week to do some training with us and it is very, very good news for us. I think we need also to give confidence to him, to be close with us, because it was a big injury.

"But now he is getting better, he is training with us in some things and this is very positive.

"We need to be calm with him. Calm because we need after more than a month, [him to] feel first he is doing some things well, and then when he can play and do games in the training, we can think he is okay to play."

Koscielny, who won 51 caps for Les Bleus, was named captain by new head coach Emery in pre-season despite his injury.

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