Arsene Wenger has already suggested that Arsenal are unlikely to be doing any more transfer business today, but the Arsenal legend Martin Keown thinks that the Gunners could still be in the market for a defensive midfielder, but whoever comes in will have to be prepared to sit on the bench until Francis Coquelin is unavailable for whatever reason.
Keown said on the BBC Sport website: “Wenger might still feel that he needs to buy a new defensive midfielder before the window shuts on Monday.
“But, rather than filling a problem position, it would be as cover if Francis Coquelin gets injured, so he has someone else who can do his job.
“He has been at the club since 2008 but, before this season, he had made only nine Premier League starts in six years and spent the whole of the previous campaign on loan at German club Freiburg.
“Coquelin made his first Premier League start since January 2013 when he played in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over West Ham at the end of December
“His recent progress shows you why some players are worth waiting for, because I think by the age of 23, a lot of managers would probably have given up on him before now.
“Wenger, however, kept seeing something there.
“When I spoke to him recently, Wenger explained to me that, earlier in the season, every time he saw Coquelin train he told him that he should be in the first team but felt he had to go out on loan first because he needed the experience.
“Coquelin ended up being sent to Championship side Charlton in November to get some games under his belt.
“Since returning, Wenger has pretty much put him straight in his team. Coquelin has taken his chance superbly, and he fully understands his job for the team.”
Le Coq has been a revelation since his return from loan, but, unlike Keown, I am not so sure that Wenger will consider bringing in another DM today or even in the summer. Flamini played 20 minutes against Villa and is probably first choice backup right now, and Mikel Arteta could also return to the squad shortly. Arsenal could also use Ramsey as more deep-lying in an emergency and Jack Wilshere performs that role for England when he is fit enough.
Of course there is also Arsenal’s other new signing Krystian Bielik, who may only be 17 right now, but Wenger has not ruled out the possibility that he may be able to play in the first team in the near future. “I would say, considering his age, he’s more one for the future,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“But let’s be open minded and let him surprise us. The first signs that we see are very positive in training.
“Because they had the winter break in Poland, we are just at the starting point of building him up fitness-wise. He’s a young boy and he has a huge talent.”
So considering our new strength-in-depth, do any readers (other than Hafiz!) still think Wenger needs to bring in a new DM?