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Arsenal To Stick With Arteta And Coquelin – Good Move Or Not?

Arsenal skipper Mikel Arteta has signed a new one-year contract and the press is suggesting that as a result Arsene Wenger will shelve plans to sign a new defensive midfielder this summer.

Arteta missed much of last season through injury and his return will provide Wenger with a boost going into the new season.

Arteta’s injury allowed Francis Coquelin to emerge as Arsenal’s lynchpin midfielder last season and Santi Cazorla’s switch to a central role, as well as Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky all vying for roles in the engine room, Wenger believes he doesn’t now need a new midfield enforcer.

As a result the Gunners have dropped their interest in Morgan Schneiderlin, who set to join Manchester United, after baulking at his £25 million valuation.

I question whether there is the depth and athletic ability with Coquelin and Arteta to compete with the top teams in England and Europe?

But with the likes of Sami Khedira, Geoffrey Kondogbia, William Carvalho and Morgan Schneiderlin linked to the Emirates in recent months, is Wenger’s decision to persist with the 33-year-old Arteta and the inexperienced Coquelin the right call?

While Coquelin and Arteta will be ok against the average Premier League sides, are they good enough to compete with Chelsea’s or Barcelona’s midfield? I am not convinced that they are and the stats support that.

Both Khedira and Kondogbia have obviously since moved on, to Juventus and Inter respectively, but the clear trend of all the above mentioned players is that they are are dynamic, defensive-minded players, who with the exception of Khedira who was available on a free, are all under the age of 25.

There is no doubting Arteta has been an outstanding midfielder in his time in England, but it could be seen as a risk to place their faith in him as an alternative to Coquelin at this stage of his career. Only time will tell whether Wenger has made the right decision but the fans won’t be too generous with their patience.

What do you think? Should Arsene Wenger still bring in a world class defensive midfielder this summer?

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • chris keys July 8, 2015, 2:22 am

    Wenger very vital 4 us 2 win d title arteta legs re already weak we need someone like morgan to compete with francis

  • ba July 7, 2015, 11:45 pm

    if arsenal are to stick with arteta coquline next season that means we will have problem in defenceive midfield lets think about injurie woo

  • JGD July 7, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Coquelin was more than good enough defensively – do a proper analysis (use per 90 metrics) and look at the defensive aspects; tackles won/ lost (and ratio), interceptions, clearances, blocks, aerial duels (% won)and number etc, and you’ll see he was the best “defensive” DM in the PL. Maybe not as good as Schneiderlin or MAtic as an all round player, but defensively excellent and better than both.

    Also much better than Carvalho – young player with potential but so over hyped its incredible. Yet idiots are claiming he’s world class based on appearances in the lower level Primeira liga and the odd international. Ridiculous – he’s simply a young player with potential, who’s actually pretty inconsistent.

    Kondogbia and Kheidra are nowhere near defensive midfielders, and both are b2b players, of which Arsenal has plenty. Good players but nowhere near whats needed.

    The only question is depth and whether Arteta’s legs can sustain him now he’s getting on. Coqulein is just fine as a defensive wall, and much better than most. Other aspects will come with time.

    • David July 8, 2015, 9:23 am

      Great response JGD. Thank you!

      The concern I have with Coquelin is that he has only put together half a season. Can he play the same way for a whole season? And if he gets injured I am not sure whether Arteta can step in for an extended run of games.

      • JGD July 8, 2015, 6:37 pm

        And thats a valid concern David – but it seems that Coqulein at least deserves the chance to continue to shine, and also improve the other aspects of his game (bear in mind although Schneiderlin and MAtic etc are better all rounders, both have significantly more experience, and there’s no reason not to think Le Coqs development will not continue given his obvious ability.

        As for cover/ rotation – its a bit of a dilemma given it would be harsh in the extreme to bring in someone like Bender (for example) and play them instead of Le Coq after he has done so very well. But on the other hand we do need cover. Given how long Arteta has been out and his age its obviously a risk, but maybe Wenger sees enough in training to convince him that he’s up to it. Personally, I would have though Cabaye woudl have been a sharp purchase – experienced, skilled, great technically, a solid defensive presence, and a player who can slot in at CM or further forward, and all for 10 million.

  • Bakri July 7, 2015, 7:56 pm

    This can not be a good move as Coquelin played only half a season on the premiership level and that is not enough experience to make him Arsenal choice and Mikel C has past his best and not fit enough to play as many games if Coquelin got injured . The renewal of Coquelin was just a nicety and nor really in the interest of Arsenal . Next season when the same repeat itself fighting for the fourth place in the premiership and been Knocked out from the first round in the champion league we will say Arsenal need a world class defensive midfielder and a world class goal scoring machine . That will prove that wenger failed to balance the squad in 20 years and no more excuses to keep him as Arsenal manager .

  • Isaac July 7, 2015, 6:45 pm

    I am not in agreement the idea that Wenger don’t want to recruit a central midfielder. The two major central midfielders are not enough to win four trophies, that EPL, FA and Championship league. So he needs to buy at least two Central Midfielders and sell son who are not needed.

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