Recently, the 21 year old Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin announced that if he doesn’t get playing time for Arsenal this season, he will look for a move away from the club in January.
Coquelin said in an interview:
“In July I went to see the coach Arsene Wenger, he told me I am a full member of the team and that he was counting on me.
“It showed me they trust me. Alex Song went to Barcelona and they didn’t buy any defensive midfielders.
“I haven’t played in Arsenal’s first three games. That makes you think a bit. But I know I’ll get a chance and I’ll take it.”
“I have given myself six months, then I’ll reassess. If I see no way in, I’ll look elsewhere. I know that I have qualities to break through at Arsenal.”
However, this isn’t the first time Coquelin has come out and said he wants more playing time, he was cautious in signing his last contract with fears of not playing enough, and although Coquelin boasts good quality, with Diaby, Cazorla, Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey, Frimpong and Wilshere all fighting for the three midfield postions it will be hard for him.
Coquelin shows determination to get into the first team, and admits “At 21, I can no longer afford to be patient,” and that “This is the year where I must break into the team at Arsenal.” However, because this isn’t the first time he’s complained about playing time, he may not be the kind of player Wenger wants at his club. In this same interview I have quoted Coquelin speaks of not being “behind them (Arteta, Diaby, and Cazorla)” in terms of ability. Big words, it has to be said.
No doubt, Coquelin is a good player, but he’s young, and the things he has said could, instead of put pressure on Wenger to give him more playing time, put Wenger off. What Coquelin said was similar to what Song, Denilson, and Bendtner have said before. Boasting of their skills, and how they should play more, but not being consistent and working for a place in the team.
He’s clearly a talented player, he just needs to be told where he is at the moment. He needs to earn his right to play and should realise that he’s behind two international players and a premier league star in the pecking order, not to mention Wilshere etc. However, I have no doubts that Coquelin has what it takes technically to make it at Arsenal, but if he doesn’t play or work as well as he said he can, don’t be surprised to see Coquelin as a new Denilson, who by the way, got a red card the other night for Sau Paulo, which wasn’t his first.