Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has just been sent out on loan to German side SC Freiburg.
The 22-year-old made three starts for the north London club last campaign and after signing a new long-term contract at the start of last season, Arsene Wenger has decided to send the Frenchman out on loan for the second time, to further his development.
However, the Arsenal boss may live to rue loaning the versatile midfielder, who put in some promising displays last season when the team were struggling for form - his performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge stands out.
This leaves the Gunners very light in the middle, with only Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere fully fit. Abou Diaby is still out with cruciate ligament damage and Emmanuel Frimpong also occupies the treatment room.
On the plus side for Arsenal fans, it may be the clearest indication yet that the Frenchman is finally looking to bring in proven quality in the middle of the park. The void of a true midfield enforcer has been absent for the Gunners since the departure of former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira. The likes of Mathieu Flamini and Alex Song have proved fairly successful in the role albeit both soon moved on to pastures new.
Mikel Arteta now anchors the midfield and despite his wealth of experience and passing ability, he certainly lacks the physical prowess. Diaby has been the most similar in both physical appearance and ability but injuries have plagued the 26-year-old’s Arsenal career.
Then there is Wilshere; the hopes of a club and country seem to be resting on the extremely talented 21-year-old’s shoulders but again injuries have stuttered his progress.
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