By 90Min
July 21, 2017

​Arsenal could be without key centre-back Laurent Koscielny beyond his two-match suspension for the new season, after the defender missed the recent friendly against Bayern Munich.

When asked by the media about why the French tough-tackler missed the game, manager Arsene Wenger said to the ​official club website that it was due to a back issue.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal controls the ball during the match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Arsenal FC at ANZ Stadium on July 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Matt King/GettyImages

Egyptian international Mohamed Elneny had to deputise in the heart of the defence as both Koscielny and club captain Per Mertesacker missed the tie.

"He played at centre back because our centre backs, one was sick with food poisoning - Mertesacker, we had to send him back to the hotel - and Koscielny had a problem with his back so he was not available," said the Arsenal boss when questioned about the makeshift changes.

With Mertesacker missing the game due to sickness as a bout of food poisoning struck a number of Arsenal players, which will not be an immediate cause for concern. However, the issues with Koscielny are more long-term and needs to be addressed before the season starts.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: (L-R) Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Petr Cech pose in front of the Sydney Opera House during an Official Welcome to Sydney for Arsenal FC at Museum of Contemporary Art on July 11, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

The French international has found it difficult to get rid of the back pains, with the stopper missing a number of games in the past. In addition, the defender has persistent problems with his Achilles so their is a great cause for concern among the Arsenal staff that he could be out for more important fixtures.

Arsenal start the season at the Emirates against Leicester, then travel to Stoke as the Gunners are without Koscielny anyway due to the suspension carried through to next season. His red card meant he missed the final game of the season as the Gunners lifted the FA Cup against Chelsea without their talisman at the back.  

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