Francis Coquelin has been handed a chance to consolidate on his stunning Arsenal comeback with the offer, by the club, of a new contract, Wenger has confirmed.
The plaudits have continued to pour in for his commanding performance last week at the Etihad and given it was not just a one-off but a successful improvement from his previous games since returning from his loan stint at Charlton, Wenger has taken the initiative to see that the young Frenchman plants his feet firmly and lay out his mat fully at the Emirates for the foreseeable future.
Coquelin was recalled to the team as a potential stop-gap option due to the rain of injuries that had the Arsenal midfield drenched but he has taken the opportunity to show just why he had been so tipped for greatness back in 2009 when he played a key role in the FA Youth Cup winning team. Commenting on his striking return to the team, Wenger said:
“I saw that he made huge improvements in training and I explained to him that for me to give him a potential chance, he needed match practice. I could not give him that, I could give him that only if he played somewhere else before. He took the challenge, he came back and since I have played him, he is doing well.” As quoted on the club’s website.
His rejuvenation has been welcomed by all Gooners but the major question that has resulted from this has been if Wenger would now stop the search that has seen him linked with the likes of Schneiderlin, Carvalho and Lars Bender as potential defensive-midfield solutions. This may be bad news for some because Wenger is already looking up to his young protégé for the future.
“Yes, of course. He is a very young player.” Wenger replied when asked on Coquelin being a long term solution.
“You look just at what happens on the pitch. Win the ball and make a good pass, in his position that is important.”
It is fair to add that while Coquelin’s career has seemed to have gone forth and back and propelled a bit over the years, it is not a strange thing to notice amongst some players as development could be affected by different factors.
His main identity has always been as a defensive midfielder but most Gooners would identify him as one of the auxiliary defenders, and his first and only game this season before going out on loan was in the League Cup defeat at home to Southampton in a left back role.
With Arteta to spend more time nursing his calf and hamstring (and…), and Flamini not very rated by most, it has become necessary to make Coquelin feel as much valued as possible and it is great to see that club have moved immediately.
“We have offered him a new deal. I am confident that it will be done.”
That is good news, for both Coquelin and all Gooners.
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