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Arsenal star says one thing stopping club from playing at Barcelona level

It’s no secret that Arsenal have been hit harder by injuries than almost any team in Europe’s top five leagues. Laurent Koscielny believes that Arsenal might actually be one of the best teams in football if they could only stay healthy.

Koscielny said that the ongoing injury crisis at Emirates Stadium – which has robbed the team of nearly half a dozen starting midfielders over the last few months – has kept Arsenal from being a top-five club like Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

‘We need to progress consistently and to beef up our squad,’ Koscielny told Journal du Dimanche [per the Metro].

‘Actually we are there, but we lose too many elements through injury during the season. It is difficult when you cannot count on four or five people for six months.

‘It is like that every year, I do not know where it comes from. That stops us from getting to the level of the top 5 teams.’

Arsenal will face Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the Champions League, but by then may still not have several stars such as Jack Wilshere or Santi Cazorla back.

Barcelona, on the other hand, lost Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi for several months due to an injury but barely missed a beat thanks to Neymar and Luis Suarez.

As for Arsenal’s Premier League hopes, the Gunners’ inability to beat Stoke City over the weekend allowed Leicester City and Manchester City to sneak up on them, giving the team a very narrow lead in the standings.

Luckily, Arsenal should have both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez back for their derby against Chelsea next weekend.

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