I have seen reports this week suggesting that Arsenal still need to sign a new defensive midfielder in the mould of the Chelsea player Nemanja Matic, after young Francis Coquelin had an off night with a rare poor performance against Swansea City on Monday night.
The stats on the Arsenal website show that the French midfielder did not win a single tackle, make any blocks or clearances, win any aerial duels, or really influence the game much, with the fewest touches of the starting midfielders. And as these are his major jobs in the team it does look like Coquelin had a bit of a stinker.
On the other hand, you could say that Swansea´s tactics of sitting back and soaking up pressure meant that Coquelin’s usual reading of danger and breaking up the game was not really needed. You could also say that Swansea´s goal came without him on the pitch and suggest that he might have helped us to avoid defeat had he been on.
Coquelin’s stats this year have been awesome and even on Monday he managed to record the second best passing accuracy of the Arsenal midfielders, bettered only slightly by Mesut Ozil. What I would say is that Monday´s game was perhaps not suited to Coquelin’s talents, and we would have been better off with Arteta to set the tempo of the passing game, but the Spaniard is not available at the moment.
I am not going to say that we do NOT need to sign a top quality central midfielder this summer, just that it should not be at the expense of Coquelin. What do you guys think?