Arsenal are running out of center backs. Per Mertesacker is going to be out for a few months and they won’t rush Laurent Koscielny back from injury, leaving them with Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers as the team’s only fit central defenders. That’s hardly ideal.
The solution? For now, it’s Francis Coquelin.
When asked by Jack Wilshere on the Arsenal Snapchat account what he’s been doing, Coqueling said, "been playing center back."
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There are a lot of things to break down here:
1. Arsenal should probably sign a center back or two. Beside the fact that they could use an upgrade at the position no matter what — Gabriel Paulista and Calum Chambers can barely cut it as reserves — they can’t go into the season with their central defense this depleted. At most any other club, this would be a given. They have plenty of money, a clear need and getting someone like Shkodran Mustafi would be a no-brainer. But when it comes to Arsenal and the transfer market, you never really have any idea of what they’re going to do.
2. If Arsenal are going to try and make the best of what they have at center back, Coquelin should not be the man playing out-of-position. The last two years have shown just how much a defensive midfielder means to the Gunners’ defense. Coquelin is that guy. While you obviously need good center back play, a good defensive midfielder means your back line doesn’t have to defend nearly as much and they don’t have to defend in dangerous spots nearly as much. The Gunners being short-handed in defense just makes it even more important that they have Coquelin in the midfield.
3. Seriously, we’re finding these things out from Snapchat now? 2016 is wild.