Thierry Henry says Arsenal may have signed another player if Francis Coquelin had not performed so well

Arsenal have lost just one of the six games the 23-year-old midfielder has started since his return from Charlton.

Thierry Henry: Arsene Wenger may have delved further into the transfer market if Francis Coquelin hadn¿t put in several impressive performances for Arsenal
Image: Thierry Henry: Arsene Wenger may have spent more of Francis Coquelin hadn't performed so well

Thierry Henry believes Arsene Wenger may have delved further into the transfer market if Francis Coquelin hadn’t put in several impressive performances for Arsenal over the past month.

Coquelin was recalled from a loan spell at Championship side Charlton Athletic in mid-December, and in the six games the Frenchman has started, Arsenal have lost just once and conceded only three goals.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: (2ndR) Francis Coquelin celerbates the 2nd Arsenal goal, scored by (R) Olivier Giroud during the Barclays Premier League
Image: Francis Coquelin (centre) celebrates during the win at Man City

And Henry insists the 23-year-old’s form made up the Arsenal manager’s mind as to whether to do more business in January.

Henry said on Sky Sports News HQ: “For me the best thing they’ve done is bring Coquelin back from Charlton.

“Maybe if he hadn’t come back and played the way he did recently, Arsene would have gone and bought a defensive midfielder.

Image: Coquelin was recalled from his loan at Charlton in December

“He has been amazing, Arsenal don’t look like they will concede, they can score and he gave everyone protection everybody was talking about.

“Sometimes you look for that player and they are right in front of you. But the guy has matured, he went on loan, and knows he had to perform and he is doing it.”

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Henry believes Coquelin protects the back four perfectly, with Arsenal also strengthening their backline with the signing of centre back Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal last week.

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin (centre) celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match v Aston Villa, London
Image: Arsenal have won their last four games in all competitions

However, Arsenal legend Henry also says Coquelin’s form means Wenger can buy someone he wants in the summer, rather than having to settle only for those players available in the market.

“What Coquelin does is allow you to go for the player you want in the summer, because in January you go for the player that is available.

“Coquelin allowed Arsene to go for someone he really wants, or if Coquelin does the job really well, he can stay.

Image: Arsene Wenger signed defender Gabriel Paulista in January

Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday started February on a high note after a January which included impressive wins at Manchester City and West Ham, leaving the Gunners 11 points off leaders Chelsea.

When asked if Arsenal can form a title challenge, Henry said:

“If they go on a big run, you never know what is going to happen. Everyone is raving about Sanchez, and rightly so because he is amazing.

“But the key for me was putting Cazorla in the middle of the park.”

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