Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny has been “deeply affected” by last week’s Paris terror attacks and might not be in the right frame of mind to feature for the Gunners in Saturday’s Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion, according to manager Arséne Wenger. Koscielny, 30, featured for France in their 2-0 friendly victory over Germany last Friday when at least 129 people were killed in a wave of attacks, which included three suicide bombings outside the stadium where the game was played.
Wenger highlighted the contrast between the defender’s brilliant performance in the win over Germany and his abysmal display in the 2-0 loss to England on Tuesday as the former Lorient defence stalwart had been affected by the attacks.
“I have not spoken to him yet but I will talk with him [before the weekend] to see if he is recovered and focused,” Wenger said in his pre-match media duties on Thursday.
“He had a fantastic game against Germany and you could see he was not himself on Tuesday. It affected him deeply. I did not recognise the player I saw on Tuesday night. I will look how deeply they are affected. Sometimes it hits you more two or three days later than on the night. Then, you try and protect yourself, or you do not know what is going on. Slowly, you realise the shock comes a bit later.”
Wenger also said he will hold talks with striker Olivier Giroud, who scored against Germany, to see if he was also traumatised by the attacks as the player said on Twitter last Sunday that: “I’m very touched by this inhuman act”.
“They [Koscielny and Giroud] have gone through that game, but I will talk to them to see how much they are up for it.” Wenger said.