Why Coquelin Should Not Be Seen As The Solution To Arsenal’s DM Problem

“I took Francis Coquelin from France at the age of 16 and he is now 24. He has gone through some difficult periods, but he is a learner and I always kept faith in him.”

– Arsene Wenger on Francis Coquelin after the win over Manchester City

The sudden rebirth of Francis Coquelin has been a sudden surprise to many Arsenal fans. This is a player that would not have been playing if not for certain circumstantial issues borne out of injuries to several central midfielders (Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey). It meant that he was recalled from a loan spell at Charlton.

However, after five consecutive games where he has impressed, can it be said that the club does not need another defensive midfielder in this window or in the summer?

What has suddenly changed with Francis Coquelin? Is it a case of a player playing for a contract because his deal is up in the summer? Or he has been given a second chance, and he has grabbed it?

Despite his re-emergence, it is too early to start saying that he is the missing piece to Arsenal’s jigsaw. The drive and tenacity he has brought to that position in the matches he has played, only shows what the club has been missing, a situation that paints how ineffectual Mathieu Flamini has been, plus Mikel Arteta’s injury issues. This is not to downplay the contributions that Flamini and Arteta have made this season.

However, the reason why the signing of a defensive midfielder should continue to be a priority is that Francis Coquelin should not be made to carry Arsenal through the reminder of the season. He has already displayed Mathieu Flamini from the first eleven, and Mikel Arteta is out for three months, meaning he is primed for a long run in the side.

But ask yourself ; Assuming he suddenly succumbs to an injury, what happens to the team? It means the club would have to fall back to the ineffectual players it has in that position, which is likely to undo all the good works that was done in that position.

That is the reason why Arsenal still needs another defensive midfielder. All well and good, the manager has found an internal solution, albeit a one borne out of circumstances, yet he should not be the crowned as the sudden heir to the throne for the sole reason that it has been good so far.

There still remain those feelings that you normally get when you know that a player is not of world class ability, but because he is the best out of the lot that is available, he is suddenly crowned as the king.

This has been a great period for Coquelin and he has not put any foot wrong, most of the surprise at his performance is borne out of the fact that few expected that he would be any good, because of what they have previously seen him play.

He has been good, but the club should aim for a better player there. For a club that is aspiring to consistently challenge for trophies in Europe and domestically, another defensive midfielder is imperative.

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