The League’s hottest defensive midfielder of the moment, Francis Coquelin has accepted the new terms of a new deal from Arsenal and will put pen to paper in the coming weeks, according to the Sun.
The 23-year old has solidified his place in the Gunners team this year and is gaining rapturous applause as the pivot for Arsenal’s newly found solidity and balance. Wenger might have recalled him to the team due to a shortage of midfielders but Coquelin has suddenly become the most important player of the team, warranting desperation on the club’s part to keep him for the long-term.
There had been suggestions of an apparent delay on his part to sign the new offer as he wanted to be assured of the continuity of his first team role and while Wilshere and Arteta are not yet back to see actually how that happens, Coquelin is head, shoulders and belly above Mattieu Flamini in the holding role and it will take nothing short of a drop in his form to take him off his place now.
Arsene Wenger can finally boast of a team where every position has more than one capable player to deputize for the other. Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been vital all season for their forward contributions but Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott stepped up in their absence to deliver quality performances against Brighton and Aston Villa. Santi Cazorla has been immense and irreplaceable but Rosicky still has enough in his 34-year old tank to do as much as the little magician, while Welbeck’s absence has not been sorely missed. Same is the case in defence, especially with the full backs.
With Coquelin, though, it is hard to imagine Flamini as his able replacement and while both cost Arsene nothing to procure, it is now Flamini who looks set to leave the club while his younger compatriot might as well save the club some £20m.
Schneiderlin, Bender and William Carvalho are all still looked at as potential options for the summer, the Saints’ man being the most likely to arrive in the summer but that would have to depend on how Coquelin ends the season. There would be no economic sense in paying that much for a player when you already have someone in the team who can give as much, with the added passion that comes with having been educated at the club.
There is still some way between Schneiderlin and Coquelin but if he continues to improve as much as he’s done over the past 8 games, we may see a situation where even this new deal would need embellishment just to make sure someone does not bid him away easily at the end of the season.
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