Arsene Wenger has suggested that he will not sign anyone to replace Francis Coquelin, and will give the chance to Ainsley Maitland-Niles instead.
Some people thought that Arsenal might be making room for a new midfielder.
Wenger, though, doesn’t see the need to bring in a replacement when he apparently has so many options already.
One of those could Ainsley Maitland-Niles, a player he sees as a defensive midfielder in the future.
“First of all the best way to replace him now is to get [the injured] Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil back. After that, we see,” Wenger said, as reported by the Evening Standard.
“I think Maitland-Niles had an outstanding performance tonight [against Chelsea]. He’s a defensive midfielder basically, what he’s doing at the moment will help him as well to develop as a player because he plays in a different position.
“But at some stage, I’ll play him in there because we have [Nacho] Monreal injured, [Sead] Kolasinac injured. They will come back.
“There will be an opening for him in midfield.”
Maitland-Niles has played mostly at left back or left wing-back this season due to injuries.
Sead Kolasinac had the role until his recent injury, while Nacho Monreal, who many expected to be his back-up, played centre back instead.
That’s left Maitland-Niles as the only cover for the position.
With Kolasinac and Monreal set to return from injury soon, Maitland-Niles could get more chances in midfield.
Coquelin’s sale ensures he’ll have that opportunity in the future.
It would have been a shame to block off the 20-year-old’s progress by signing yet another midfielder who may struggle to get into the team.