The Ox explains the two positives Coquelin creates for Arsenal's midfield

Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suggested Francis Coquelin creates two main benefits for the team's midfield.

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suggested on the club’s website teammate Francis Coquelin offers two things to the Gunners.

Coquelin has been in decent form since he returned to the club last winter and has become a key feature in the club’s midfield under Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman recently suggested, as covered by ITV, that if the club had signed Coquelin for £40 million, it would be considered a great signing by the club.

“I watch all the games and when I’m playing alongside Francis, there’s nobody better to play with,” he said.

“He brings that security and confidence that you have someone like that who can pick the ball up, intercept balls that should never be intercepted, win tackles that you don’t think he can win, and he’s also a quality player on the ball as well.”

The security that he provides is significant because it allows the centre backs to be more relaxed.

It also allows the backline to push a little higher up the pitch because they have some extra cover offering protection, if the back four is caught out on the counter attack.

That increases the confidence running throughout the team, because there is a player willing to be the first point of contact whether that’s breaking up the play, which allows Arsenal to maintain pressure or whether he’s taking a yellow card to stop them team being exposed.

The real challenge for Coquelin and Wenger is going to be next season because he’s a marked man and someone who is going to be targeted by the club’s rivals, as they look for a crack in his position.

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