Arsenal’s match against Manchester City last season has seen the birth of Francis Coquelin. After years of struggling to even cement his place in Championship teams, Coquelin was suddenly seen as the solution to Arsenal’s midfield problems. His rise to prominence is akin to Macheda’s for Manchester United in 2009. He was seen as the saviour of United’s scoring woes until his eventual fall from grace.
There is no denying that Coquelin over performed last season and produced some impressive performances at the tail end of the season. Whether that is due to his actual abilities or just the fact that he is the only player in an attack minded squad who can offer the defensive midfield role is yet to be seen. His performances this season are increasingly pointing to the latter.
Arsene Wenger is a long-time admirer of the ex – Southampton midfielder. Schneiderlin is coup for United by all standards and plugs a hole in their midfield that has been ever present since Owen Hargreeves’ injury. He would have definitely been a much needed upgrade on Coquelin and Arsene Wenger will definitely regret not breaking the bank to sign him
Arsene Wenger status as an elite football manager has been established on the back of his invincibles team. His greatest contribution to football is his successful transformation of Henry from a winger into one of the best strikers of his generation. Since Henry’s departure to Barcelona, Wenger has been trying to reinvent Henry. Arshavin, Walcott and Gervinho have all been wingers that Wenger tried to transform into world class forwards. Arshavin’s 4 unsuccessful seasons at Arsenal – with the exception of his 4 goal masterclass against Liverpool – , Walcott’s regular seat on the Arsenal’s bench and Gervinho’s exit to Roma are all evidence of Wenger’s continuous failure in the “Henry Reinvention” project.
Martial is one of those players who could be seen as the natural successor of Henry. Just like the French legend, he is possesses a lot of pace and good eye for goal and could play as a winger or up front as a striker. His talent has been recognised a long time ago – he was even dubbed as a wonderkid in Football Manager 2012 – and is the type of player and nationality that Arsene Wenger would have signed as a 16 year old. He would have perfectly fit the attacking mould at Arsenal and offered something very different than Olivier Giroud. His performances for Monaco last season demonstrate that he is a confidence player with a lot of potential. He needs a consistent run of games to get the best out of him. At Arsenal he would have been able to displace Giroud as the main striking option while at Manchester United he might find his chances limited unless LVG deploys him as a wide attacker. He excellent at running the channels and as he demonstrated last season for Monaco, can score lobs, top corner bullets and simple tap ins.
If LVG can get the best out him, Anthony Martial is poised to be Wenger’s biggest regret since the Zlatan debacle.
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