This is why Arsenal was right to sell Francis Coquelin to Valencia in a £12 million deal!
Francis Coquelin looked as a perfect defensive midfielder for Arsenal, but than it all fell apart.
Not long ago Arsene Wenger claimed that Coquelin would have been a great signing, if he would cost £40 million. That’s because Coquelin joined Arsenal as a teenager and had an incredibly low price.
Well, about 2 years later and Arsenal will get only a fraction of that £40 million from Valencia, who has signed Coquelin.
Wenger came to the conclusion that the 26-year-old Frenchman is NOT a top-class defensive midfielder, he once thought he was.
“not good enough despite the passion!”
This is a disappointing end to a once-promising Arsenal career, but selling Coquelin is the right decision, despite Coquelin’s obvious passion on the pitch, something that other of his teammates often lack.
Half of Arsenal midfield players are injured, but Wenger still decided to sell Francis Coquelin. That’s probably due to one key quality the Frenchman lacked.
🏴 ➡️ 🇪🇸
It’s official, Francis Coquelin has signed for Valencia! 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/N2Z8V9dszw
— Lacazette FC (@Lacazest) January 11, 2018
Passing is the key component of Arsenal’s play. That’s why Wenger choose Granit Xhaka, over N’Golo Kante. He needs good passers of the ball, well Arsenal need good passers of the ball, and Coquelin wasn’t one.
Coquelin couldn’t stay in this Arsenal side because he didn’t fit in, despite his passion and tackling.
“was not a good passer of the ball!”
This was actually a promising move from Wenger, who is finally getting rid of under-performing players. You can expect Theo Walcott to be the next one to get the boot.
Now, that Arsenal sold Coquelin, the question is, who will Arsenal sign as a replacement? Hopefully Wenger won’t make another mistake of making “easy and cheap” solution.
Makeshift centre back Francis Coquelin gives possession away with loose pass then gets caught out of position as City almost score. #MCIARS
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) November 5, 2017
It’s said that Arsenal have never replaced Patrick Vieira, and that is actual fact.
Wenger never went out and bought himself a direct replacement, but made this “easy and cheap” solutions, that never fully worked.
He tried to put Mikel Arteta there, but the Spaniard just wasn’t a good defensive midfielder. Then came Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer, and that didn’t work.
“was fantastic for a while!”
When Arteta and Flamini both got injured, Wenger brought back Coquelin, who was at the time on loan at Charlton. It was an “emergency” signing, but it surprisingly worked (for a while).
Coquelin’s passion, while playing next to Santi Cazorla gave the team an immediate boost. His best ever Arsenal performance was in that win over Manchester City (It ended 2-0 for Arsenal).
Arsene Wenger confirmed Francis Coquelin has joined Valencia!
He might not have been the greatest player at the club, however he played with passion, desire, and you could clearly see his love for the club! So I have the upmost respect for him & all the best in the future! #AFC pic.twitter.com/uC5KcK0igG
— now.arsenal (@nowarsenaI) January 10, 2018
It did look as though Coquelin was that true (in a way) replacement of Patrick Viera, as Wenger used Coquelin as an example of his successful “transfer business”.
Well, as only Arsenal players can, Coquelin eventually got his knee injured, and he never really recovered from it. Well at least his performances haven’t. To be honest Santi Cazorla’s unfortunate injury problems have been far worst for Coquelin than anything else, at Arsenal.
“not good enough without Cazorla!”
Meanwhile, Wenger brought in Mohamed Elneny for £7 million. It was another cheap solution, that again didn’t really work.
Like Coquelin, Elneny has become something of (unimportant) cup match player at Arsenal, while sitting on the bench for important matches.
£22m for Francis Coquelin is an absolute bargain for us! One thing I regret never seeing is him scoring a single goal for us. Always wanted to see what sort of celebration he had in store for his first goal for Arsenal… 🔥 pic.twitter.com/HeOC5ECnN4
— Lacazette FC (@Lacazest) January 10, 2018
Wenger did splash the cash on Granit Xhaka, but the obvious problem here was Xhaka’s lacking in defensive abilities (his reckless tackles are especially problematic).
Despite that, Xhaka works a lot better than Coquelin, because the Swiss international excels in his passing ability (he makes a bad pass every now and again), especially long range passes.
“Arsenal should’t look for replacement at Arsenal!”
Coquelin played well at Arsenal, only when he had Cazorla (who was/is a fantastic passer), while couldn’t play with anyone else.
Who knows when Cazorla will return to Arsenal, if ever, so Francis Coquelin has became totally redundant at Arsenal.
To sum up, Arsenal won’t miss Coquelin and made a smart move by selling him, still Arsenal need a proper replacement, which SHOULDN’T be found at Arsenal.
Of course, there is Ainsley Maitland-Niles (who made his name at left-back) or some other young midfielder, but this is again going to be a “cheap and easy” option, that hasn’t worked properly ever since Viera left Arsenal.