Arsenal fans have been overjoyed with Francis Coquelin’s move to Valencia that most of us didn’t really sit down to think of the consequences.
Most Gooners have been calling for Coquelin’s head for at least two years now. Therefore, when it was announced that the 26-year-old was Valencia-bound for £12m, we pretty much lost our damn minds.
However, when you set aside your frustration for the sideways-passer’s style of play, selling the defensive midfielder does seem like a risky move from Arsene Wenger.
Firstly, we need a replacement. Links with former Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi have died down now that Sevilla have sacked the 29-year-old’s nemesis, manager Eduardo Berizzo, and brought Vincenzo Montella on board.
In fact, apart from N’Zonzi and Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure back in December, Arsenal haven’t been linked with any potential Coquelin replacements.
What’s more, can we even afford to sign a decent replacement if Alexis Sanchez leaves? Surely, if the Chilean heads to Manchester City, Arsene Wenger’s priority will be to sign a world class forward, which could potentially drain our funds.
Our current midfielders don’t provide much cover either. Mohamed Elneny has been linked with a move to West Ham, and even if he stays he’s not good enough to be a regular starter.
Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey both have issues with their fitness – as we’re currently experiencing since the Welshman is sidelined until mid-January with a hamstring injury, and the former went off last night with an ankle injury.
Selling Gabriel to Valencia in the summer and failing to replace him has resulted in Arsenal being short of centre-backs now that most of our first-team defenders have managed to get injured. If we’re not careful, we could have the same situation occur in midfield.
Hopefully, Arsenal have something up their sleeve.