Arsenal continue to be linked with a move for defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons, one of the most talented players from French giants Lyon.
There is plenty of press speculation doing the rounds today that Arsenal will offer £10 million to secure the deal, but they also have an opportunity to get rid of Francis Coquelin who wants away from the club.
Coquelin is reportedly attracting a lot of interest from Premier League sides and major teams in France, which leads to the obvious conclusion that he could push for an Arsenal exit in the summer.
Arsenal can effectively seal any deal for Gonalons by offering Coquelin in part exchange, as he could do a very decent job in the top flight of French football.
Gonalons would be a very good signing for Arsenal because he offers the current side something they don’t already have.
He’s the sort of player who can sit in front of the back four, offering protection to the centre backs and generally trying to break up the attacking play of the opposition.
He seems like a very logical target for the Gunners considering the need for his type of player in the team, plus Arsene Wenger’s French background making any communication issues and transition very easy.
His consistency is superb and something that, unfortunately, Coquelin has never been able to produce for Arsenal; Gonalons has made 32 league appearances with three goals.
It’s a little unclear as to who the French sides interested in Coquelin are according to the Arsenal blog, which suggests he will be looking to move away but if Lyon are one of them then the Gunners have an obvious exit route to send him down.
Retaining Coquelin would be counter productive for Arsenal because they would be keeping yet another midfield player, who will only clog up the midfield area and increase the number of players fighting for limited positions.
He doesn’t seem to be on the same sort of quality level as Gonalons, which means he may even be axed even if he’s not used in part exchange, it just doesn’t make much sense to keep him.
It’s a difficult one for Wenger because Coquelin is a talented player, he’s just not been able to get the chances to ease his unrest having only made 11 appearances so far this season.
They may as well cash in if they sign Gonalons or any other midfielder for that matter, especially while Coquelin still has two years left to run on his contract.
A loan deal is also possible but if Lyon are one of the sides interested in him, then they could reject that offer which could then risk the Gonalons deal.
Should the Gunners sacrifice Coquelin?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald