|Koscielny taken off inside 10 mins for Arsenal with suspected serious ankle injury|
The defender went down in a heap unchallenged, and it was later confirmed that he has sustained serious damage to his Achilles tendon
Laurent Koscielny was forced off for Arsenal less than 10 minutes into the club’s Europa League semi-final and will now miss the World Cup after suffering a serious Achilles injury.
The France defender went down unchallenged after appearing to lose his footing on the Wanda Metropolitano turf against Atletico Madrid.
His discomfort was plain to see, as he grimaced on the floor while appearing to clutch his Achilles tendon.
Arsenal officials instantly recognised that Koscielny would play no further part in the game, and prepared Calum Chambers for an early first substitution.
Koscielny received limited treatment on the pitch and was then stretchered off, with the game still poised at 1-1 on aggregate after Arsenal and Atletico played out a score draw in the first leg.
While Arsenal are yet to make an official statement, Sky Sports, Goal and other media have confirmed that Koscielny has torn his Achilles tendon and faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
The defender’s season has thus come to an end, and he will miss the rest of Arsenal’s games including a prospective Europa League final should they down Atletico.
Koscielny’s team-mate Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang instantly took to Twitter to send a message of support, saying: “Damn it, courage bro”.
France too will miss their experienced centre-back, with the World Cup just a month away.
The 32-year-old’s absence is a big setback for Les Bleus, who have been touted as one of the favourites for the tournament in Russia.
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