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Why Francis Coquelin may be Arsenal’s biggest victim in summer transfer window

Francis Coquelin has excelled this term, but he should still fear for his Arsenal career.

The 23-year-old Frenchman returned from a loan deal with Championship side Charlton Athletic earlier this season to break into the Gunners first-team - and he has done nothing but excel.

The enforcer has added a strength and physicality to Arsenal’s previously lacking midfield, and he has played a key role in the North London club’s fight into second place, and potentially the Premier League title.

Coquelin’s rise to prominence has led many to believe that Arsenal’s squad is now complete, and that they will not need to strengthen in the summer transfer window.

But they should, and Coquelin should be the first player replaced.

This is not to say that Coquelin has not impressed, because he has, but there is a sense that the only reason he has played so well is because the Gunners have not used a defensive midfielder for so long in a system that requires one.

Wenger has frequently played the wrong type of player in that deep-lying role to little effect, and so when Coquelin came in to his natural position, he truly performed at the top of his game.

The young Frenchman has impressed, and deserves to stay at the Emirates for the ability he has shown.

However, Coquelin has performed well due to having no one to compare him to in the Gunners squad, and any natural defensive midfielder would have looked just as good as him.

Now imagine if this Arsenal team had a defensive midfielder of even greater quality to call upon. They would be an even more fearsome rival to their Premier League opposition with a better holding player in their ranks, and Wenger should not see Coquelin as the long-term fix - but as the blueprint for the type of player he should be signing in the summer.

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