The French defensive midfielder spent the first part of this campaign on loan at Championship outfit Charlton Athletic, struggling to make the starting XI on a weekly basis.
Yet, his fortunes have changed at the Gunners as the North Londoners’ long-term need for a proper defensive midfielder has seen him establish himself in the first-team.
His wonderful display at Manchester City set the tone for future starts in Arsene Wenger’s side, and forward Walcott reveals Coquelin’s hard work and character has rubbed off on his teammates.
“I’ve been at the club for nine years and Francis has been there. He has been in and out of the team but he has always shown good character and has done well to get back into the side,” Walcott explained.
“At the moment, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet. He trains at 100 per cent, always committed. His English is perfect, he is a well-spoken lad and is a real winner on the pitch.”
|Tackles per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Interceptions per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Appearances||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta, Coquelin’s impact on the team has been evident and he has all-but mastered the defensive midfield role.
On average per match, he has produced more tackles, effective clearances, interceptions and ball recoveries than his fellow teammates who have also played in that role.
One area where Coquelin needs improvement, however, is his ability to make himself available and his distribution with the ball – illustrated by his touches and accurate passes compared with his teammates.
Yet, at just 23 years of age, he has plenty of time to develop his game further and under the tuition of Arsene Wenger he will naturally become more confident and precise on the ball.