Instead, after yet more cries in the weeks leading up to the January transfer window, Wenger opted to bring back Francis Coquelin from his loan at Charlton Athletic, initially as cover.
The 23-year-old soon worked his way into the first-team XI, and his performances since have been of such a high standard there have been calls for a full French international call-up.
Hoddle, however, would still like to see the Gunners strengthen that area this summer and has identified Schneiderlin as a player who could come in and improve their midfield further.
“Now it’s the midfield they need to improve and Morgan Schneiderlin would be a great addition. He’s a good user of the ball, as well as someone who wants to snap at people and win it back,” Hoddle said.
“He enjoys intercepting and has the defensive mindset, something Arsenal midfielders often lack. I think he would be an improvement on what they have, even though Francis Coquelin has done well.”
|Tackles per Game||Defensive Duels Won per Game||Aerial Duels Won per Game||Interceptions per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances|
While Schneiderlin’s strengths are well documented, as per the table provide by Opts Stats it’s not wrong to suggest that the Gunners actually already have the better of the two.
Of the six key defensive midfield categories, Coquelin comes out on top in five of them including the average number of interceptions, defensive duel winners and ball recoveries per Premier League encounter.
His inclusion since the turn of the year has largely coincided with the North Londoners’ wonderful run of form and there is little to suggest the team’s current upturn can’t go on into next season.
The Saints’ midfield enforcer would undoubtedly improve the Gunners’ first-team squad, but on this season’s basis it’s perhaps fanciful to suggest he would improve their first-team XI.