Wilshere praises midfielder and says 'there's much more to come’


Arsenal's injured England international heaped praise on a player he came up through the ranks with.

Arsenal currently have some of the best young central midfielders in the country on their books, and with the emergence of Francis Coquelin, they have added some much-needed steel in the heart of their team, with Jack Wilshere celebrating the Frenchman on the Arsenal website.

Coquelin's performances have been even more important given the absence of Wilshere. The Arsenal number 10 has been missing since November with ankle ligament damage, and has made just 14 appearances this season, a campaign that is looking like another disruption to the Stevenage-born star's career.

But however many troubles Wilshere has had when it comes to keeping fit and involved in the first team, he has been happy to see his former youth teammate finally come through and shine for the first team.

"I've played with Francis in midfield since I was 15," Wilshere is quoted as telling the official Arsenal matchday programme.

"I used to wind him up by saying, ‘Listen, you do all the dirty work and the tackling and then let me have the ball!' But the thing is, he loves that side of it.

"He's really good at it, he's tenacious, the way he always goes after the ball. Not everyone has that ability to win the ball back and to be aggressive."

Arsenal's homegrown Englishman also emphasised that he was surprised it took Coquelin so long to seize a spot in the side, and that the Frenchman is a shoe in for the anchorman role in the Gunners midfield, despite being capable of developing even further as a box-to-box general that can get his share of goals.

"I thought it was strange how he didn’t break through before because I've always felt that he could be the one to play in that position for us," Wilshere said.

"I think there's much more to come from him as well. He's a great defensive midfielder, but going forward he was always a threat in the youth team. I think he can score goals too.”

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