Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has been quoted by Sky Sports explaining what he feels has been the defining moment in his career so far.
The 23-year-old Frenchman has suggested that a spell at German side SC Freiburg last season has had the biggest impact on him mentally, helping him to become an important player for Arsene Wenger at the Gunners.
“The period in Germany helped me a lot, it was a tough, tough experience mentally,” he said.
“That was a turning point in my career. I’m happy I went there and learned a lot.”
Coquelin found himself as a very young man in a foreign league, not having experience of the Bundesliga to help him.
He could have shied away from the challenge, but instead embraced it and it helped him secure a loan move to Charlton at the start of this season.
He only had a brief spell with the Addicks, but whatever Arsene Wenger saw from him during the spell he liked, as he’s become a key figure in protecting Arsenal’s defence in the first team.
Any player performing for Arsenal needs to be mentally strong because of the pressure and expectation which comes hand-in-hand with playing for such a big football club.
Arsenal have had a problem in midfield over recent seasons in terms of having a player who can inject that fight and grit in front of the defence. Coquelin has a long way to go before he becomes the complete holding player, but he’s off to a good start.