During Sunday’s victory over Crystal Palace it became clear to all to see that the importance of Francis Coquelin to the Gunners midfield is even bigger than Arsene Wenger would even care to admit.
The tough tackling midfielder put in a vintage display of solid midfield work, breaking up the play, spoiling the opposition attacks and allowing his team mates to build up the play.
He had a decent game, but the fact that Wenger had to sub the Frenchman off because he was concerned that he would get sent off was quite telling. It was of course partly down to ensuring the win at Selhurst Park and also because he is so heavily reliant on Coquelin in that department.
He is the only real option the Gunners have, with Mikel Arteta only really seen as a bit part player these days. Wenger’s men rely on Coquelin and if Arsenal want to push close to the title this season, they cannot just rely on the one defensive midfielder, they need two first team quality ones for a couple of reasons.
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The first being injuries, and the second being for the big games. In the games against title rivals, having two good midfield destroyers would allow Wenger to have a team less susceptible to defeat and more capable to spring into counter attacks.
The ideal man the Gunners should sign in this department is Grzegorz Krychowiak, who would fit in perfectly at Arsenal.
Wenger ruling out a move for the Polish international, saying that there are no truth in the rumours a move for the midfielder is imminent, but such comments do indeed need to be taken with a pinch of salt, as there is a good chance that the Gunners could be coming in for him.
The 24-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, with reports suggesting a fee of £22m may be enough to persuade Sevilla to sell up.
It’s a good price to pay for such a dynamic midfielder who does indeed tick all the boxes that many have said that Wenger’s midfield has lacked for years. These include a fierce mentality, tough tackling and goal scoring, all of which are attributes Krychowiak possesses, highlighting why he is the ideal signing for the Gunners.
The Pole really is a typical midfield destroyer, and he is never happier when breaking up play in front of his own defence.
There would be a question mark over the Sevilla man, as he has only had one season in Spain after playing most of his football in France. However, that shouldn’t worry Arsenal as he adapted so quickly to a new league – making 82 tackles in his debut season, the third highest in La Liga – and he won the ball at an impressive 77% success rate, too.
He also reads the game well, making 97 interceptions for Unai Emery’s side and won 109 aerial duels at a success rate of 73%.
This is a particular area in which the Gunners have struggled, and his added height would certainly help defend set pieces, preventing the risk of conceding so many headed goals (Arsenal conceded 13 last season, bettered only by Burnley’s 17).
Arsenal had thought that maybe Coquelin would be the midfield destroyer that they craved, but it looks as though that Grzegorz Krychowiak is the ideal man for the job.