Date: 16th April 2015 at 7:57pm
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Francis Coquelin’s loan spell at Charlton was cut short in late December due to an injury-plagued Arsenal squad, and what a blessing in disguise it was. The young Frenchman has brought a gritty atmosphere to Arsenal’s defence, a sense of urgency. It seems like once the Gunners lose possession, Francis Coquelin is winning the ball back right away. Statistically the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League, Coquelin not only wins a majority of his tackles, he intercepts passes with ease.

Signing with the Gunners when he was 17-years-old, Francis Coquelin hoped to develop his game under Le Professeur, but playing time was hard to come by for the teenager. Coquelin’s recent loan at Charlton proved to be very beneficial for the Frenchman, bringing back a sense of maturity and elevation in quality of play back to the Emirates in late December.

Since his return, Arsenal has looked like a completely new team – a team that can rely on its defence in the closing moments of a match. With some insurance sitting in front of our back line, the Gunners feel much more comfortable attacking with a reliable defensive midfielder knowing his role – staying back on defence. His work ethic can’t be taught, and he brings a spark to a deflated game when the Gunners are lacking intensity. Francis Coquelin is easily one of the most underrated players in the Premier League, and that chip on his shoulder is was drives him to elevate his game – fueling the success of Arsenal.

In a recent interview, Jack Wilshere praised the Frenchman, proclaiming that we have yet to see the best from Francis, proclaiming how the young gun bagged many goals while playing with Wilshere in their time back in the academy days. I’m sure all Gooners would love to see Coquelin net a crucial goal, even a Kim Kallstrom-like penalty kick in the FA Cup semi-final. With the clash against Reading upon us, will we see the best of Francis Coquelin?


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