Oxlade-Chamberlain: Coquelin should be first name on Arsenal team sheet

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes Francis Coquelin should be the first name on Arsene Wenger's team sheet.

In what has been a breakthrough season for Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin, fans and team-mates appear to be taking a real shine to the former French U21 star.

Coquelin is yet to make his debut for the senior France international side but if his development continues to progress as it has been, then a call-up could be just around the corner.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has hailed Coquelin as the unsung hero of Arsenal's season and believes he is now worthy of being the first name on Arsene Wenger's team sheet. That's some statement considering that team sheet already consists of names such as Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and fans' favourite Per Mertesacker.

It is no secret that the 24-year-old defensive midfielder has undergone a remarkable transformation this term, going from being an outcast on loan at Charlton Athletic in December to becoming a key component in Arsenal's improved run of form over the second half of the season.

To place even greater emphasis on how everything is going to plan for the Frenchman right now, he has started every Premier League game since his comeback at West Ham United during the Christmas period.

“The boys that score the goals usually get the headlines and rightly so but I think there have been a lot of boys in the team who have been tremendous,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told the London Evening Standard.

Hector Bellerin has come in this year and been phenomenal for his first season. Laurent Koscielny has been brilliant and Francis Coquelin as well. At the moment he’s the first person I’d put on my team sheet. I love watching him play and it’s not often that you tend to say that.

“You love watching players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil play and someone who does the work which goes unnoticed you don’t really appreciate.

“I watch all the games and when I’m playing with Francis, there’s nobody better to play with.

“He can pick the ball up, intercept balls that should never be intercepted and win tackles that you don’t think he can win. For me, Francis has been the one.”

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