Arsenal should seriously consider selling Francis Coquelin next summer despite just handing the midfielder a new contract, according to former Gunners' forward Charlie Nicholas.

Coquelin, 25, penned a new deal with the Gunners alongside fellow Frenchman Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny earlier this month. Since being recalled from a loan spell with Charlton Athletic in December 2014, he has become somewhat of a favourite of Arsene Wenger's and is regularly named in the starting XI.

Nicholas however believes Coquelin's days at the club could be numbered, suggesting Jack Wilshere's return to the club and Santi Cazorla's return to fitness will inevitably see him slip down the pecking order.

I don't have a problem with him getting a new deal," Nicholas told Sky Sports. "I'm not his greatest fan, but they don't have many options in that position.

"Santi Cazorla is out for a long period, Mohamed Elneny is away and Jack Wilshere is on loan, so Arsene Wenger certainly can't afford to let him go right now.

"However, when everybody's fit and fresh Coquelin would be lucky to get in the 18. We simply need numbers in that department right now.

"He'll do a job short-term and after that you'd think they'd get a decent price for him. It puts his value up and I would sell him in the summer when everybody is fit."

Francis Coquelin
Coquelin was one of three players to sign new deals earlier this month Getty

With Wilshere on a season-long loan at Bournemouth and Cazorla still recovering from surgery, Coquelin will likely have an important role to play for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.

The Spain international has been sidelined since re-injuring the plantaris tendon in the back of his right foot during the second half of a 6-0 Champions League victory over Ludogorets Razgrad in October.

After the procedure, the Gunners estimated a three-month period on the sidelines for the influential midfielder but Wenger fears Cazorla's absence could be longer.

"At the moment, Santi is far [from returning]," Wenger said in January. "It's not going as quickly as I imagined it, so certainly in January he will not come back."