I learned to walk again, says Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny


Arsenal chief Per Mertesacker feels Mesut Ozil still has much to offer manager Unai Emery.

If Koscielny can not start, Emery may have to field a central defensive pairing of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal, two full-backs who have never started a game together in the Premier League.

However, finding a centre-back in the January transfer window might be hard, and Emery said the injury situation could force the club to examine whether Chambers can be recalled despite being sent on a season-long loan to Fulham in the summer.

Arsenal will be without the injured Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos while Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi are suspended, meaning the visitors are likely to field an unfamiliar backline at St Mary's.

Arsenal have been handed a boost as midfielder Mesut Özil has returned from an extensive stay on the sidelines following a back injury, Laurent Koscielny will too be in contention to start.

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"Every young player, we have the responsibility to give them chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances", Emery said when asked about 17-year-old Bukayo Saka who made his full debut on Thursday.

Laurent Koscielny has revealed that he had to learn how to walk again after he underwent achilles surgery in May.

With the hosts having secured top spot last month, there was little riding on the final fixture of the group stage, allowing Emery to select a young team, in anticipation of the Super Sunday clash with Southampton.

Emery has gone with a back three in the league recently but it will be interesting to see if he sticks with it against Southampton as we have plenty of problems at centre-back.

"Nacho Monreal can play in this position. I prefer to use, if we can, a [natural] centre-back". Emery was similarly pleased with his return, saying: "Today is another step for him and for us". It didn't work then, but I think Emery is on to something, and it can always be adjusted at half, as it was against Huddersfield, if things start to go awry, thus saving crucial players for midweek. "But for us it's also very important".