Francis Coquelin knows he has the qualities to start for Arsenal, but feels that he will move on if he does not feature enough over the next six months.
The 21-year-old Frenchman managed 17 appearances last season and was consequently awarded a new long-term contract at the Emirates as Wenger reassured ‘Le Coq’ was in his first team plans.
With the departure of Alex Song, Coquelin would be expecting more game time after the Gunners failed/decided not to bring in a replacement, but the current midfield of
the reincarnated Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta and star signing Santi Cazorla have impressed.
Coquelin told L’Equipe:
In July, I met the coach and he told me I am a full member of the team and he relies on me. Looking at who we have signed, they have trust in me.
Alex Song left for Barcelona and they didn’t (sign) another defensive midfielder.
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When I didn’t play in the first three matches it made me think about it. But I know I will get an opportunity and I will seize it.
Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla are great players, who have more experience than me. But during training sessions every morning I am not behind them.
I am 21-years-old, I know I cannot be patient any more. This year is the right season to make a name for myself at Arsenal.
I have given myself six months and then I will take stock. If I see it is blocked, I will go somewhere else. But for now I know I have the qualities to make a name for myself at Arsenal
I can understand his frustrations, but he will get his chance to play as it is likely that the current midfield three will suffer injuries and rotation will be key for Wenger once midweek matches set in.
He is a quality, versatile midfielder that can fill in at right back so it is essential Coquelin is retained as he has the potential to be an important player for the club. The only other potential issue is how the return of Frimpong and Wilshere will affect the Frenchman’s chances, but they are still a month or so off returning to the first team.
Wenger will start to rotate the midfield with Champions League matches approaching so Coquelin will get his chance and should remain patient and work hard in training. The last thing the French manager needs is a winter sale of the defensive midfielder and no one to replace him. Perhaps a Premier League loan move could suit all parties?
What are your thoughts? Do you think that Le Coq should get more chances or should he be sold/loaned out in January? Feel free to comment below or in allArsenal’s forum under Coquelin’s thread.