Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has praised underrated midfielder Francis Coquelin, and is adamant that the Frenchman would be receiving high praise had he cost us £40million, The Guardian reports.
Wenger is a staunch believer that in football, quality isn’t always linked with price, which has seen him make some very astute signings for us over the past few years.
The boss has also proved that he is ready to pay huge fees for some of the top players in the world, as he demonstrated with Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez.
However, Wenger is disappointed that, especially in Britain, players without huge price-tags are reluctantly praised.
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“The world has changed,” he was quoted as saying.
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“The appreciation today of the quality of a player is just down to the money you spend.
“If we had bought Coquelin at Christmas for £40m, everyone would say, ‘What a signing.’ I am sorry he didn’t cost any money. He is still a good player.”
Coquelin was recalled from his loan at Charlton in December on an emergency basis due to the injury crisis we were in the midst of, and his rise to prominence has been remarkable.
The Frenchman was rewarded with a new contract in February (via Arsenal.com) after establishing himself as a key member of our squad.
Despite his impressive rise, we’ll still need to address the holding midfield position this summer, with Coquelin currently the only player in our squad capable of performing that role.
Also, if a player appears on the market who is an upgrade on the 24-year-old, it is an obligation for the club to bring that player in to strengthen our first XI.