Morgan Schneiderlin’s Hopes of Playing for Arsenal Crushed by Francis Coquelin


Nobody seemed like more of a sure-fire bet to come to Arsenal this summer than Morgan Schneiderlin. He was going to solve all of our problems. He was a deep-lying midfielder, a bigger, physical player and he could drive from the back and start attacks.

But then Francis Coquelin happened and all of a sudden, Morgan Schneiderlin has disappeared from Arsenal’s radar. Does that mean that the Morgan Schneiderlin deal is off?

Schneiderlin plays a role that Arsenal have a surplus of – midfield. More specifically – central midfield. With Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil all clamoring for a triangle of midfield positions, it leaves Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta largely out of the fold. And if they can’t find their way into the fold then where exactly would Morgan Schneiderlin fit in?

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While the Daily Star claims that a Morgan Schneiderlin to Arsenal deal has been agreed upon, such a deal has also been “agreed upon” at least three other times, so I don’t see why this one would be any different. Frank McLintock has advised against the signing of the Frenchman to replace his countryman, citing Schneiderlin’s height as the only thing that would be of any value to Arsenal (via IBT).

McLintock is right, Arsenal should no longer be in the market for anyone that plays Francis Coquelin’s role. Morgan Schneiderlin is a great player, there’s no doubt about it, but when it comes to shoveling out 20+ million pounds to sign someone who does Coquelin’s job slightly less effectively that Coquelin does, there is little sense involved.

I mentioned that Morgan Schneiderlin poses more of an offensive threat, but we don’t exactly need Coquelin to do that. Coquelin is the most effective when he sets up shop just in front of the back four and invites the opposition to come to him. Aaron Ramsey wasn’t as effective at the role because he drifted forward (like Morgan Schneiderlin), but the bruising, broken-nosed Francis Coquelin has excelled at it beyond all expectations.

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Plus, we have plenty of offensive contributions coming from other players. We don’t need Francis Coquelin to drive attacks forward. A simple slide tackle to retake possession and an outlet to a winger is the only kick start our attack needs, and he provides plenty of those.

Morgan Schneiderlin wants first-team football. He deserves it. But for him to find that at Arsenal, someone would be making way, and I don’t see anyone in our starting squad or even in our bench that deserves to be moving down the totem pole. He could replace Mathieu Flamini but that isn’t exactly first-team football. Jack Wilshere is going to stake his claim to first-team action and I could see him panning out better than signing Schneiderlin.

While it once seemed like a pretty solid solution, it’s pretty clear now that Arsenal are going to be just fine without the services of Morgan Schneiderlin

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