We are often encouraged to sign a holding midfielder each summer, but those fierce calls have been somewhat relaxed following the emergence of Francis Coquelin.
However, external voices still want Arsene Wenger to strengthen in that area in order for us to be considered realistic title challengers next season.
Adding another body in there could help, but the variety of options we currently have centrally could allow Wenger to produce a title-winning midfield – if he gets his tactics right.
Coquelin will no doubt be one of the first names on the team sheet next season, but there will be some fixtures where his qualities are not needed.
As we saw in our fixtures towards the end of the campaign against Swansea City and Sunderland, a holding midfielder isn’t needed when teams come to the Emirates Stadium with no intention of playing.
It could result in a potential Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey midfield pivot, a partnership which has all the qualities to succeed in the Premier League.
- Reports: Arsenal Ready To Make January Swoop For £17.8 Million Spain International
- Reports: Napoli Will Finalise Deal For Arsenal Star In The Summer
- Reports: Arsenal Ready To Sell £15 Million Midfielder In January
Wilshere has already proven with the national side that he possesses the ability to curb his attacking instincts and provide a solid base for the team, and it’s time for Ramsey to follow suit.
Just as we’ve seen in the England set-up with the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph, Ramsey must learn to cover and guard against his obsession with goals.
Arsenal transfer news
Wenger was surprisingly critical of Ramsey’s positional sense in the early parts of last season, which could explain why he spent the second half of the campaign filling in on the right.
“A midfielder is a player who defends well, attacks well and keeps his priorities right,” Wenger stressed (via Arsenal.com).
“He’s not a goalscorer, so he has not to be obsessed by that.”
In theory, our two midfield dynamo’s should be able to play alongside each other, and a quick glance across Europe has shown similar players gelling well together.
At Real Madrid, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric forged a wonderful partnership for the majority of last season, while Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal almost guided Juventus to a sensational treble.
None of these players are considered specialist defensive midfielders, but their intelligence has allowed them to keep their priorities in check and benefit the team.
If Wenger can make Ramsey and Wilshere function together, we’ll save ourselves the collective gasp anytime Coquelin goes down with a knock next season. Oh, and the boss will save himself a few quid too.