Arsene Wenger: Francis Coquelin could be long-term defensive midfield solution for Arsenal

Coquelin

Francis Coquelin could be the answer to Arsenal's desire for a defensive midfielder says the Arsenal manager.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that Francis Coquelin could be the long-term solution to Arsenals midfielder conundrum, according to the Daily Mail.

The 23-year-old was a major force in the Gunners’ recent win over Manchester City at the Etihad, just a month after lining up for Charlton against Nottingham Forest in the Championship.

Now, speaking in his press conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Brighton, Wenger has admitted that the French midfielder has shown significant development over the last year and could be the club’s long-term solution to a long standing defensive midfielder issue.

“I saw that he made huge improvements in training and I explained to him that for me to give him a potential chance, he needed match practice,” Wenger said.

“I could not give him that, I could give him that only if he had played somewhere else before. He took the challenge, he came back and since I have played him he is doing well.”

The Gunners have suffered with injuries to their midfielders this season, with Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby all sidelined with lengthy injuries. That crisis led to Wenger invoking an emergency recall of Coquelin back in December, and he admits he could be the answer to Arsenal’s desire for a defensive midfielder.

The French manager has thus moved to secure the youngster on a new long-term contract, with his current deal set to expire in the summer, and Wenger is confident he will sign the new deal.

“He is a very young player. You look just at what happens on the pitch. Win the ball and make a good pass. In his position that is important,” added Wenger.

“We have offered him a new deal, I am confident that it will be done.”

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch