Wenger in dilemma?
Arsenal boss want France to rest Koscielny
LONDON / Arsene Wenger has pleaded with France to rest Laurent Koscielny in their upcoming friendly with the Ivory Coast with the Arsenal manager fearing his most important defender could be approaching burnout.
The Gunners boss has already found himself at odds with the Chilean FA after Alexis Sanchez suffered a suspect hamstring injury whilst on international duty. Despite public pleas for his star forward to return, Sanchez remains in South America and could be risked in a key World Cup qualifier against Uruguay next week, a decision Wenger described as potentially ‘suicidal’.
With crucial games against Manchester United and PSG coming straight after the current international break, Wenger has asked Didier Deschamps to rest Koscielny, who played 90 minutes in France’s 2-1 win over Sweden on Friday night, in tomorrow’s friendly.
In an interview with beIN Sports, Wenger said: “I’ve never tried to prevent a player from international duty. When it’s a competitive game, I never intervene.
“France play a friendly with Ivory Coast in the second game on Tuesday night. I can’t see the purpose of Koscielny playing the second game.
“I understand completely him playing against Sweden, it’s difficult to understand him playing the whole game against Ivory Coast because afterwards we play at Manchester United and then Paris Saint Germain.
“If it’s not needed, you try to find a compromise that suits both parties. I could ring (Didier Deschamps), but most of the time I don’t do it.”
Arsenal’s injury problems extend further than Sanchez and, potentially, Koscielny. Hector Bellerin looks set to miss much of November after suffering suspect ligament damage in training with Spain’s Under-21 side.
The rapid right-back has been an ever-present in the Premier League this season, starting all of Arsenal’s 11 games as well as three of their four Champions League ties.
But he may be missing for the next seven weeks, leaving Wenger with a choice of Mathieu Debuchy or Carl Jenkinson.
France’s Laurent Koscielny (C) and his team-mate Blaise Matuidi (L) in action against Sweden’s Ola Toivonen (R)