It has been an unsettling season for France and Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, after a well earned call up for France’s World cup squad he was the subject of numerous bids from Premier League rivals Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. Despite the exodus at St Mary’s manager Ronald Koeman managed to hold on to his talisman as he helped Southampton climb the table early on as they pushed for a Champions League place.
Last week Koeman admitted that his French international may have played his last game for Southampton following a knee ligament problem that will see Schneiderlin miss the rest of the season.
‘Morgan will be out until the end of the season,’ Koeman said. ‘He has [injured] ligaments in his left knee and he will be out for four or five weeks, so that means until the end of the season.
‘I don’t know [if he’s played his last game], or about interest or about bids. We like to keep everybody but we know sometimes it’s difficult. There aren’t any serious bids for the player. He is happy but it’s up to the player.’
It now appears Arsenal are ready to table a bid for the former Strasbourg midfielder as they look to bring him to the Emirates this Summer, this would see him compete with the emerging Francis Coquelin. Coquelin has been a revelation for Arsenal since returning from his loan spell at Charlton and has become one of the first men on Arsene Wenger’s team sheet.
The signing of Schneiderlin would make perfect sense with Coquelin the only holding midfield player at the club good enough to anchor the Arsenal midfield. Mikel Arteta is not made for that job and Mathieu Flamini is way past his best.
How do the two Frenchmen compare?
Both are very competitive and have the kind of tenacity that Arsenal have lacked for many seasons with Schneiderlin slightly better at getting his side on the front foot.
Coquelin realises his limitation which is never a bad thing, he knows that there are more creative players ahead of him in the form of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla but one thing Coquelin has is a defensive mindset and a great understanding of his role within the system.
The best teams in world football have 2 player for every position but right now there is a serious lack of quality in that position at the Emirates, acquiring Schneiderlin would change that.
It is no secret that Arsenal require 3 or 4 players this Summer if they are to compete more than a belated charge on the title this season. The acquisition of Southampton’s Schneiderlin could go some way to bridging the gap between Arsenal and Chelsea.
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