Midfielder Francis Coquelin has claimed he may be forced to leave Arsenal if he doesn’t make a first team breakthrough this season.
The France Under-21 international is one of the most highly-rated youngsters at Arsenal and was rewarded for his progress with a new long-term contract at start of the year.
Coquelin spent the 2010/11 season out on loan with French outfit Lorient and was linked with a permanent move away from the Emirates this summer, with Everton, QPR and Aston Villa all linked.
But after making 17 appearances for the Gunners last season, he held talks with Arsene Wenger in the summer and was assured that he was part the managers plans for the coming campaign.
However, despite the departure of Alex Song this summer, Coquelin has failed to make an appearance so far this season with Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla preferred in midfield.
The 21-year-old feels it’s time he made his breakthrough at Arsenal and has claimed he will consider a move away from the club in January if he hasn’t been given his fair share of first team action. He’s quoted as saying by Sky Sports News:
“In July, I met the coach and he told me I am a full member of the team and he relies on me. Looking at who we have signed, they have trust in me.
“Alex Song left for Barcelona and they didn’t (sign) another defensive midfielder.
“When I didn’t play in the first three matches it made me think about it. But I know I will get an opportunity and I will seize it.
“Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla are great players, who have more experience than me. But during training sessions every morning I am not behind them.
“I am 21-years-old, I know I cannot be patient any more. This year is the right season to make a name for myself at Arsenal.
“I have given myself six months and then I will take stock. If I see it is blocked, I will go somewhere else. But for now I know I have the qualities to make a name for myself at Arsenal.”
With Diaby, Arteta and Cazorla all making superb starts to the season and with Jack Wilshere nearing a return to fitness, it’s hard to see how Coquelin will be able to command a first team place.
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He certainly has a lot of talent and will be given a chance to impress in the domestic cups, but it might be some time yet before he’s considered a first team regular. Let’s hope he has the patience to hold out.
Do you think Coquelin is good enough to hold down a first team place? Get involved in the comments section.
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