Laurent Koscielny is a major doubt for Arsenal's Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain with an eye problem after getting hit on the face in the Gunners' game against Southampton. The Frenchman scored via a brilliant overhead kick for the equaliser after the Saints had taken the lead through a fortuitous free-kick, where the ball bounced off Petr Cech and into the net.
The Guardian reports that the defender may pull up short before the game against PSG, forcing Arsene Wenger into yet another defensive dilemma, with Gabriel having only just returned to training and Per Mertesacker still out with a long-term injury. Shkodran Mustafi is expected to start with Rob Holding being the most likely candidate to replace Koscielny at the back, should the Frenchman come up short.
It was Koscielny's 21st goal in all competitions for the Gunners which include a host of important moments, especially one on the final day of the 2013/14 season when he scored the winner against Newcastle, which guaranteed Champions League football for the north London club. Wenger was all praise for the defender after his splendid performance against the Saints and insists that he has all the qualities to captain the Gunners. The 31-year-old wore the captain's armband against Southampton, with Mertesacker still recovering from his knee problem.
"He is one of the most experienced players we have now here," the manager said. "He is one of the longest-serving defenders and I think he is one of our best players. When I think about the squad, when you choose a captain as well, you think of one with a good chance to play in every single game and that's not easy nowadays. He has committed to the club for a long contract and he has always improved every year. Today he is an outstanding centre-back."
On the goal, Wenger added: "He doesn't score that when it is 4-0 for you, he scores at 1-0 down and that's always a special quality. It was his birthday and he gave himself a great present."