Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown told the Daily Mail he feels there are five players who could do a job in the holding midfield role for the club.
Keown was asked whether he felt the Gunners could run the risk of not signing another holding midfielder before the end of the transfer window, with everything shaping up to look as though he’ll trust Francis Coquelin to protect the club’s defence this season.
“Arsenal have so many gifted midfielders, and if Coquelin isn’t available Arsene Wenger will want to plug the gap with a player who will control the game, rather than a physical presence,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“At the moment he feels that Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini can fill in for Coquelin when he’s unavailable, and I could also see him going with the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey in deeper central role in that situation.”
“Coquelin was a huge bonus last season – one of the first names on the team sheet - and there will be lots riding on Arteta when he is asked to fill in. He’s a good player to have around, as he has a good attitude and is well respected.”
Has Wenger taken a needless risk?
Some Arsenal fans will look at the situation and rightly question why Wenger hasn’t done more to sign another holding player, especially considering the financial resources they have available.
If Coquelin gets injured or is unavailable through suspension, the club don’t really have a direct replacement in terms of someone who can do that sort of job.
The issue isn’t a lack of players who can control the game, Arsenal have plenty of them, the issue is a lack of players who can do the ugly things in a defensive role, giving the midfield a real reputation and intimidation factor, which is different to what the other players can currently offer.