Former Arsenal striker John Hartson told talkSPORT that he doesn’t know what the long term plan is for midfielder Francis Coquelin.
The holding midfielder has been in revitalised form since he returned to the club from a loan spell at Championship side Charlton earlier this season.
He’s turned into one of Arsene Wenger’s key players at the moment, proving vital in terms of the protection he offers to the Arsenal defence. However, Hartson is unsure whether he will be the main man in his position next year.
“I don’t know what the long term plan is for Coquelin. The question is can he stay there and play 40 games next year in terms of sitting in front of that back four as the main defensive midfielder?” said Hartson.
There are still fresh reports linking the Gunners with a move for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, as covered by the Daily Star, who would arguably start next year ahead of Coquelin in the pecking order at the club.
Whether Arsene Wenger would be willing to stump up tens of millions to sign the Saints star when he appears to have a competent young player who can do a good job in the same position remains to be seen.
Wenger has made a habit out of taking younger players and refining them throughout his career and it will be interesting to see if he does the same with Coquelin.
He’s capable of producing the grit and aggression that Arsenal’s midfield has been missing in the last couple of seasons and needs to respond next year attempting to become the best in his position, helping Arsenal across all competitions.