One blot from Arsenal’s convincing 3-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday evening was the fact that Francis Coquelin sustained a knee injury, which forced him off in the 32nd minute.
He jarred his knee whilst stretching to block an intervention from N’Golo Kante and after watching the replays following a late tackle on him by Cesc Fábregas earlier on, the injury (whack to his ankle) initially looked quite painful. Unsurprisingly though given his never-say-die attitude, Francis attempted to continue for a few minutes before soon coming to the realisation that it wasn’t a knock he’d be able to run off.
As quoted by the club’s official website, the boss had this to say about Coquelin’s injury in the post-match press conference:
“He has a knee injury at the same place he had last year at West Brom. That’s the negative of the day. We don’t know if the damage is as big, at the moment, we have to wait for 48 hours. But he left the stadium in a brace and I’m a bit worried for that.”
Coquelin was sidelined for two-and-a-half months when he damaged ligaments against West Brom at the Hawthorns last November, so Wenger will be nervously hoping that the Frenchman isn’t out of action for as long this time.
With the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka (the former didn’t even make the matchday squad against Chelsea) amongst the competition for places in midfield, there’s no doubt that we’d have adequate replacements but you’d ultimately rather have a fully fit team to choose from, not least with a multitude of matches in various competitions set to come thick-and-fast.
It’ll take a few days before the medical staff can give an accurate timescale on how long Coquelin will be out of action for but we can only hope he gets well soon.