17 clearances; 18 battles won: Arsenal's Francis Coquelin outstanding against City

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Arsenal's Francis Coquelin put in a brilliant performance as the Gunners defeated Manchester City on Sunday.

Arsenal have been in desperate need of a quality defensive midfielder for quite some time, but could he have been under their noses all along?

That is certainly the feeling following another brilliant performance from Francis Coquelin, whose return to the Gunners' first-team has sparked a renaissance that could ultimately lead to success come May.

The 23-year-old Frenchman had made plenty of appearances for Arsenal prior to his latest loan move to Championship side Charlton Athletic. But an injury crisis at the Emirates Stadium saw him recalled early and thrust into a starting line-up in desperate need of some midfield steel.

Since then Coquelin has played every minute of Arsenal's last five matches - four of which have been victories.

In his latest outing - against current league champions Manchester City - Coquelin shone, as you can see from the statistics below.

One outfield block, three tackles, 18 duels won (11 on the ground and seven in the air) and six interceptions paint an emphatic picture, as do the 17 effective clearances Coquelin made against a City side famed for their goal-scoring talent.

  Passing AccuracyOutfield BlocksTackles WonDuels WonAerials WonInterceptions WonEffective ClearancesEffective Headed ClearancesMins Played
Francis Coquelin 87% 1 3 11 7 6 11 6 90

In short, Arsenal have found a wonderful option who could help them to great successes this season and beyond.

Of course he now has to prove it week in, week out, but following his latest performance there is no reason for him not to do just that.

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