Arsene Wenger has explained why Laurent Koscielny was removed from the squad which traveled to Southampton a couple of days ago.

The French defender was in action last Sunday as Arsenal put two goals past Manchester United at the Emirates stadium.

However, Koscielny was then withdrawn from the 18-man squad which took a trip to the St. Mary’s stadium on Wednesday.

It appeared be a surprise decision considering the fact that the centre-back was actually involved in first team training prior to the match.

However, Wenger has revealed that Shkodran Mustafi replaced Koscielny against Southampton because he had to be cautious over the Frenchman’s condition.

“He’s got a small chance. He was not far.” Wenger responded when asked about Koscielny’s chances of returning to action this weekend

“He practised on Tuesday but it was risky to play him at Southampton.”

The emergence of Rob Holding has handed Wenger a new option at centre-back as Koscielny continues to struggle with persistent injury problems.

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