There will be a lot of pressure on the young shoulders of Francis Coquelin between now and the rest of the season, especially if Arsenal do not sign the top class central midfielder that many were expecting from Arsene Wenger in the January transfer window.
It does look increasingly like the Gunners have wrapped up the shopping early this time, sparing the Arsenal fans the annual torture of transfer deadline day, although many of us will still be hoping for the manager to pull some sort of rabbit out of his transfer hat.
One player that will not be coming to join Arsenal however, according to a Daily Mail report, is the tough tackling Newcastle and Ivory Coast international midfielder Chieck Tiote. And the paper claims that we could have snapped him up for a decent transfer fee of around £12 million after the Magpies offered him to us.
Tiote is the sort of no-nonsense and hard working defensively minded midfielder that many pundits felt Arsenal needed and there is little doubt that the recent performances from Coquelin, which have also earned him a new contract, have convinced Wenger that he already has such a player in the squad. But will Coquelin keep it up and prove that Arsenal were right to snub the transfer of Tiote? Or will the young Frenchman’s form or another injury problem leave Arsenal exposed again?