Speaking after the game, Arsene Wenger revealed worries over Francis Coquelin, who picked up a knee injury in yesterday’s game. The energetic midfielder left the Emirates in a knee brace after picking up a knock blocking a shot from N’Golo Kante, being substituted after only a half hour of play.
Wenger stated it was now a matter of time before they could assess the severity:
He has a knee injury at the same place he had last year at West Brom. That’s the negative of the day. We don’t know if the damage is as big, at the moment, we have to wait for 48 hours. But he left the stadium in a brace and I’m a bit worried for that.
Coquelin’s injury last season put him out for three months and the risk of re-injury is worrisome. The brace likely indicates significant swelling that will need to subside before he can be assessed.
Despite the controversy around Coquelin’s place in the team, a long term blow to team depth while still in four competitions is a problem to deal with. Coquelin’s energy and tackling have served Arsenal well against some opponents and a loss of flexibility in the team will add pressure as the fixtures pile up.
Still, with Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny both fit and largely rest, Arsenal have plenty of cover in the midfield to add to Santi Cazorla’s fine starting form. Coupled with the hopefully-please-don’t-reinjury return to team action of Aaron Ramsey, should the worst transpire, central midfield is not an area to true concern for Arsenal.