Before the season began, many observers felt the signing of Chilean international Alexis Sanchez was only half the piece to the jigsaw which would see the Gunners challenge for the Premier League title.
The other half is a defensive midfielder – a role which Arsene Wenger has yet to fill despite his best efforts to find that perfect midfield enforcer.
As it is, the Gunners currently sit in fifth spot in the Premier League, 14 points behind rivals Chelsea and facing the prospect of only having another FA Cup run to show for their season’s hard work.
Despite the introduction of Francis Coquelin, the need for a defensive midfielder still lingers around the Emirates and there is a strong belief that breaking the bank for such a player could prove vital.
Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin the man for the job?
Well, that’s Didier Hamann’s opinion on the matter as the former German midfielder commented on the Saints ace while discussing the North Londoners’ Champions League tie with Monaco.
“I expect big things from Arsenal, they are capable of beating any team on their day,” he explained to reporters of the Daily Mail.
“If only they’d break the bank for someone like Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton and they would be serial trophy winners.
“A lot of people would like to see Arsene Wenger have a proper run in this year’s competition and they have the best possible draw.
“Although Monaco did well to win their group, they are not the team that spent big money on James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao.
“If Arsenal have anything about them, they have to get through this game. Mesut Ozil is key and can turn matches like this.”
Morgan Schneiderlin vs Fracis Coquelin?
Despite the calls for Schneiderlin, there is a case to suggest Coquelin has what it takes to do the exact same job and perhaps even at a higher level.
Coquelin may average slightly fewer tackles, but in terms of interceptions, effective clearances and ball recoveries he certainly comes out on top – and quite comfortably too.
|Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Appearances||Mins Played|
The former Charlton Athletic loan star shot to prominence with a phenomenal performance against Manchester City, and he later proved that was no fluke in his subsequent outings.
Former Charlton teammate Johnnie Jackson told the Sun that Coquelin could save the Emirates outfit a huge amount of money – perhaps the same funds which were stored away for Schneiderlin this summer.