Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, for very obvious reasons, have stolen most of the headlines as the real gems of Arsenal’s recent bright surge of form but it has not been lost on the keen mind of Arsenal king, Thierry Henry, who the key player in this team has been.
The duo of Gabriel Paulista and young Pole, Krystain Bielik, were the club’s transfer recruits but the Gunners legend believes the best piece of business done over the past weeks was the return to the club of his young countryman, Francis Coquelin.
“For me the best thing they’ve done is bring Coquelin back from Charlton” Henry said in his pundit role for Sky Sports News HQ.
“Maybe if he hadn’t come back and played the way he did recently, Arsene would have gone and bought a defensive midfielder”
“He has been amazing, Arsenal don’t look like they will concede, they can score and he gave everyone protection everybody was talking about”
He did not play with Coquelin during his Arsenal days but Henry has had first hand view of him in at least two occasions having been at the Emirates for the two recent League victories against Stoke and Aston Villa, games where Arsenal scored eight and conceded none. Coquelin played the full duration of both games, as he has done since making his first League start against West Ham upon the recall from the loan stint at Charlton.
He was close to flawless against City and looks to be getting better with every game, which has led Henry to the belief that he could be the solution Wenger has sought for from outside.
“Sometimes you look for that player and they are right in front of you. But the guy has matured, he went on loan and knows he had to perform and he is doing it”
Tipped by many as one of the favourites to take over the reins from Wenger when he decides to call time on his coaching days, Henry’s keen analysis of the Arsenal players’ performances can serve as an introductory basis of an assessment of his capabilities to handle the detailed nature of a job as demanding as being Arsenal manager.
His Invincibles mate, Robert Pires, may not be a media person as Henry is but both show a great passion for Arsenal which always sees them return to the club at every opportunity to train or to watch the players in the stadium and that can only be a huge motivation for the players.
..We saw that with Wilshere’s Instagram post of training alongside Pires and with Walcott’s celebration for his goal, and it can only bode as well for young Coquelin that he gets such lofty appraisal from the best Arsenal player of all time himself.
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