Right now we don’t know how ready Laurent Koscielny is and how much football he can play. But he has formed a strong partnership with Mertesacker at the heart of the Arsenal defence.
The understanding he has with Per Mertesacker is almost telepathic; the two complement each other brilliantly.
Their reading of the game and positional sense of the German work beautifully in tandem with Koscielny’s pace and aggressive defending higher up the pitch.
When Mertesacker is without Koscielny, he looks less assured. Perhaps that speaks to some flaws on his part, but it’s worth remembering that, as much as in midfield or in a team with two strikers, the central defence is a partnership and, when you find one that works for you, it’s hard to adjust to different options.
Similarly, when Koscielny was paired with Thomas Vermaelen in previous seasons, he found it hard going as the two styles were too alike.
It’s clear that Arsenal gaffer, Arsene Wenger needs to find a solution to the co-dependency issue. He cannot rely on having them both fit at all times.
Remember, he already has made that gamble and lost, but if the duo can stay together until Wenger does find a solution, Arsenal will be a much more solid proposition at the back.