Kieran Gibbs full of praise for Arsenal team-mate Francis Coquelin

The England international left-back has hailed the emergence of the combative defensive midfielder.

Arsenal’s lack of a designated defensive midfielder has been a hinderance to the North London club, but Francis Coquelin’s emergence this season has seemingly filled the void.

The 23-year-old was called back from a loan stint at Charlton early this year due to injuries and slotted into the Gunners’ starting XI with aplomb.

Coquelin has been so impressive that he has been handed a new five-year contract, while Arsene Wenger’s men seem unlikely to sign a new central midfielder this summer as a result of his outstanding contributions.

Kieran Gibbs has been full of praise for the Frenchman ahead of this weekend’s clash with Chelsea, stating that Coquelin was exactly the type of player that Arsenal needed.

“I just think he (Coquelin) has made such a big difference,” The Mirror quote Gibbs as saying.

“I felt he was the player that we’ve needed at that time. He reads the game well, he covers a lot of ground and he just allows players to do what they can do best.”

Coquelin will go head-to-head with arguably the Premier League’s best midfield enforcer in the form of Nemanja Matic this weekend, with their personal duel sure to have a key bearing on the end result.

Arsenal are ten points behind Chelsea with five games remaining and need a win against the Blues to keep their slim chances of being crowned English champions alive.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch