Pundit Charlie Nicholas has revealed that he thinks the club should sell midfielder Francis Coquelin in the summer. Ex-Arsenal man Nicholas believes Coquelin is a useful player but that the club should look to cash in on the Frenchman (via Sky Sports).
The pundits on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday are usually known for their, ahem, expert opinions but one member of Jeff Stelling’s panel has made one rather unique claim this week. Charlie Nicholas spent four-and-a-half seasons at Arsenal in the 1980s but thinks the club could do without one midfielder: Francis Coquelin.
The Frenchman was only handed a new contract by the club last week but Nicholas, it seems, is not convinced. “I don’t have a problem with him getting a new deal,” he said. “I’m not his greatest fan, but they don’t have many options in that position.
“Santi Cazorla is out for a long period, Mohamed Elneny is away and Jack Wilshere is on loan, so Arsene Wenger certainly can’t afford to let him go right now.
“However, when everybody’s fit and fresh Coquelin would be lucky to get in the 18. We simply need numbers in that department right now.
“He’ll do a job short term and after that, you’d think they’d get a decent price for him. It puts his value up and I would sell him in the summer when everybody is fit.”
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It’s an interesting prospect and one which hasn’t exactly been considered by the majority of Arsenal fans. It was always assumed that Francis Coquelin would remain at the club for many years to come and with some reason. Coquelin has been at Arsenal since 2008 and seems incredibly committed to the club.
Arsenal have an abundance of centre-midfielders in their squad but none of them are in the same mould as Francis Coquelin. The Frenchman is far more defensively sound than Granit Xhaka. Arsenal had been crying out for a player like Francis Coquelin for years before he burst onto the scene in 2014. Selling him would be a mistake.