Do Arsenal STILL need a new top Defensive Midfielder?

Around two years ago, Arsenal’s annual injury crisis was worse than ever before, with Santi Cazorla being the only fit midfielder in the squad. As a result, the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had to call upon Francis Coquelin, who was on loan at Charlton at the time, to partner the Spaniard, and it worked like magic. Coquelin grabbed the opportunity with open arms and excelled in Arsenal’s midfield.

The Frenchman brought something that was missing in the Arsenal side for a long time – tenacity, strong tackles, interceptions and he didn’t mind putting his body in the line of fire. With all that and more, Coquelin quickly became somewhat of a revelation and reached a stage where his name was the first to go on the team sheet, with Gunners legend Thierry Henry crediting Arsenal’s revival that season to the emergence of his countryman, even giving him the nickname ‘Columbo’.

But two years on, the situation is very different for the midfielder. While he has continued to work tirelessly, he has been prone to errors and seems to lack in ball distribution. The Frenchman now finds himself behind the likes of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey in the pecking order of the Gunners midfield and with Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere set to come into the picture next season, the future does not look very bright for Coquelin.

Now although Coquelin puts in the work and has a real appetite for the game, his shortcomings have been exposed on several occasions this season and the magic that he had brought with him two years ago seems to have worn off. With that being said, I really think Wenger should go into the market in the summer and bring in another holding midfielder who is more fit for the role of anchoring the Gunners midfield. In fairness to Wenger, he did try to bring in N’Golo Kante from Leicester last summer and it looks like the Arsenal boss will have to continue his search for a defensive midfielder this summer as well.



  1. John Ibrahim says:

    Yes We still need a Top World Class DM…

    The New manager will sort this out next season

    Wenger has been give too many chances to sign a proper and world class DM yet he refuse

    Capoue – Star at Tottenham

    Sissoko – Star at Tottenham

    Mvilla – Star at Sunderland

    Scheiderlin – Star at Soton, Utd and now Everton

    Kondobagia – Star at Monaco and Inter

    Wanayama – Star at Tottenham

    so many world class DM yet Wenger refuse to sign 1

    1. Trudeau says:

      To paraphrase Andre the Giant – I do not think that word (world class) means what you think it means.

  2. khangunners says:

    Arsenal never learn. The emergence of coq showed us that we really needed a wc dm but what do we do we are content with him and his shortcomings are out in the open. Then bellerin emerges okay he is good but he to showed us that we need to but a first 11 rb and use him as a backup but what do we do we are content with him. Now last year iwobi emerged and shown he showed us we needed a wc winger but we decide to once again be content and just see how he has flopped this year. And enough about wenger buying he is going out ww dont want a clueless and arrogant man managing us

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Bellerin’s patchy spell will end at some stage. He is regarded one of the best in the league, the best when on form. Man city and Barcelona want him as first choice for the team as well as the transfer market, you say he’s back up quality, nonsense.

      1. khangunners says:

        Dude can’t defend,dude cant cross the ball. If you think barca will go for him lol! He needs alot of working on and a move can be good for him. He has clearly not improved since he broke into our team. And yes he is not first 11 material yet

      2. khangunners says:

        Its funny how all of us hve forgotten about how ozil carried us last year. How many guys are slating him? So using patchy spell to justify his bad spell can justify most players in our squad but will we always use this to back them season in season out?

        1. Break-on-through says:

          Ozil is and always has been a lightweight, lightweight is being very very polite in his case. We didn’t want to admit it, but soon as his distance traveled stats start coming up to defend him everyone took a closer look and had to be honest. It’s like club loyalty and Wenger, some had enough ages ago while others took longer to finally admit the truth to themselves. It’s a similar thing with Ozil, benefit of doubt or telling yourself that assists and forward play is all that matters in his case. That’s BS, watch a real team play and you’ll see nothing resembling Ozil on the pitch.

  3. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Until we wake up and realize we don’t have quality midfielders or replacement.

    We’d continue to Lament & be stucked in the world of Cazorla’s injury….

    Many would recall some of us crying for Arsenal to find a cazorla replacement sometime ago, but our voices were ignored…..I (we) stated that he was aging and Losing physical strength and fitness as time goes on….. Who needed a prophet to foresee this scenario?

    Foook, never seen a team so neglectful and Lackadiasical… Arsenal

  4. Javier says:

    Mediocrity will continue to be the norm with Wenger in charge
    Wenger is violating the Natural Law of Football

  5. Javier says:

    I’m reading loads about wages of Sanchez and Ozil, will they go, who will come in…etc…thats all utter nonsense in the BiG scheme of things. Whether they stay or go makes no difference if Wenger stays. They will simply be wasting another twelve months of their lives, albeit earning substantial money.

    And so, let’s not skirt around the edges, distracting ourselves on side issues. Lets do what Wenger and the board are incapable of doing and be proactive in making Wengers decision to leave ours and not theirs

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Sol mentioned a while back that they themselves used to manage things on the pitch, they didn’t need to be told. That’s what leaders are about, there used to be more than a half dozen of them back then. With the right players Arsene wouldn’t need to have a huge influence. Ozil and Alexis are not those players, although Alexis could work a treat alongside them.

  6. The troll formerly known as Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Some of these Arsenal jokes are crossing the line

    Shame their shots don’t

  7. Gunner 4 Life says:

    I think more than Arsenal.. Xhaka needs a good partner to do the dirty work n provide him the ball to set the play.. n now being realistic.. Wenger being Wenger will never buy the likes of Matuidi or Vidal in there.. but if You have a look.. This guy Idrisse Gueye of Everton has been a great for them.. n if.. and there’s a big “if” Wenger really wants to buy a top Defensive Midfielder.. it would be really nice to bring Him.. let alone that.. Wenger will love it coz He wont cost Him more than Twenty million pounds….

  8. Steve says:

    William carvalho would be ideal alongside xhaka. Would give us strength in cm like viera and petit did. Would also also let our attacking players concentrate on scoring goals.

  9. Break-on-through says:

    I’m doubtful we’ll add another defensive mid, doesn’t sound like Arsene. I expect us to get an alternative attacking mid to Cazorla, maybe a box to box. Then again, what of Oxlade and Ramsey, feel down after writing this.

  10. Marty53 says:

    We still haven’t adequately replaced Viera, although Wenger has had loads of opportunities to buy one, he wasted years thinking that Diaby would do the job.

  11. Waldo says:

    I think Coquelin has just given up knowing that we don’t have the fight anymore. He and the other players need new motivation.

  12. wilshegz says:

    Need- NO. want- yes.
    what we need most is a CM that can replace n rotate with Cazorla/Wilshere cos both are potentially gonna be injured.
    that was what ruined Arsenal last season (aside Giroud drought) and this season too.
    …. normally i’ll have said Verratti,Pjanic or Isco but Arsenal also needs one to make the middle tougher n we are short on the height department.
    KOKE will make perfect sense.
    a midfield of Xhaka-Koke ll be brilliant, then we can go for Gueye as a Destroyer DM option.

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