Arsenal completed their last training session in the US yesterday before today’s friendly match against the MLS All Stars. It was revealed via the Gunners Snapchat story that Francis Coquelin had been training in the centre back position ahead of the game, posing the question of whether we could see Le Coq change positions this year?
Now some may argue that the change of position in training will probably have something to do with Per Mertesacker being ruled out for 5 months with a knee injury. The injury leaves Arsenal with two fit first team centre backs in Chambers and Holding, whilst Wenger will apparently be dipping into the market in the coming weeks.
If Wenger does dip into the market then Coquelin may just be moved back to midfield, but personally I can see the Frenchman remaining as a centre back for the upcoming season, give the high levels of competition in midfield. I think Coq and Elneny will find it very difficult to keep a regular place in Arsenal’s midfield this season, with the likes of Cazorla and Xhaka to challenge Wilshere and Ramsey for just two positions. With that in mind it could be better for Arsenal to keep Coq as an option in defence, as inevitably more injuries will kick in over the course of the year. It may also be beneficial for Coquelin’s playing time, to keep training as a centre back during pre-season because otherwise he may find himself dropping down the pecking order in a jam packed midfield.