Unai Emery hopes to have Laurent Koscielny back in his Arsenal side soon, but says he will take no risks with the defender.
The France international has been on the sidelines since rupturing his Achilles back in May but is closing in on a return to action and could make the squad that faces Huddersfield this weekend.
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However, Emery is reluctant to take too many chances, and if he does make the squad, he is unlikely to get on to the pitch. “We are on a gradual way with him,” Emery told the media on Thursday.
“He’s played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday.
“Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League. “He’s working with us with very big performances every day in training. He’s playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.”
When asked what the 33-year-old will bring to the team, the Spaniard replied: “Experience, quality, personality. We need every player and we need also for him to train with us. The next step is playing. He can play with us and be with us normally.”