Laurent Koscielny will start the long journey of putting his FA Cup final heartbreak behind him when he returns from suspension for Arsenal tomorrow.
The France international defender has missed the opening two Premier League games of the campaign after being sent off in the final league fixture of last season against Everton.
His dismissal against the Toffees also saw him ruled out of the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea - as Arsene Wenger’s side lifted the trophy for a record 13th time despite being depleted in defence.
Koscielny has been overlooked throughout pre-season as Wenger needed to give game-time to those who were available for the games against Leicester and Stoke.
But, after losing 1-0 against the latter last weekend, the Arsenal boss is keen to reintroduce his compatriot for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
“We lost the game on Saturday because defensively we gave a cheap goal away, and it’s good to have him back,” he said.
“It’s been very hard, because I didn’t even consider him for friendly games, you know, because I had to play some defenders.
“I think what hurt him a lot was to miss the cup final. He had a reaction in the final game of the season against Everton that was unlucky.
“He’s a very quiet guy and sometimes he can get rushed because he realises, he thinks always he has the speed and the pace to win the tackle; in this case he didn’t.”
Koscielny’s timely return to a defence which has shipped four goals in two Premier League games will be overshadowed if Alexis Sanchez is also reintroduced into the Arsenal side at Anfield.
The Chile forward has not featured this season due to a combination of illness and an abdominal injury.
Reports continue to link Sanchez with a move away from the Emirates Stadium as he has less than a year to run on his contract and with Wenger admitting no progress has been made on the former Barcelona man signing a fresh deal.