Why Arsenal need Coquelin to replace Flamini as soon as possible

Midfielder Mathieu Flamini has done an admirable job of replacing his compatriot in his injury absence.

Mathieu Flamini v Francis Coquelin: Head to Head: : 20160129

This weekend will see Arsenal welcome back one of their star men, as midfielder Francis Coquelin makes a timely return from injury.

The defensive midfielder has been absent from the side since picking up a medial knee ligament injury in the loss to West Bromwich Albion at the end of November.

He has been sorely missed in that time, having been a big part of the Gunners’ success across 2015.

In his time out injured, Mathieu Flamini has stepped up admirably and filled the hole left by his compatriot’s absence, with him putting in the type of performances that may earn him a deal beyond the end of this season.

With Coquelin back fit, he looks set to lose that place in the second half of the campaign though, but is that an undeserved fate?

  Goals ConcededError Lead To ShotWon Tackle per GameEffective Clearance per GameDuel Won per GameInterception Won per GameBall Recoveries per GamePass SuccessAppearancesMins Played
Mathieu Flamini 11 0 1 1.3 3 1.9 4.3 87% 13 909
Francis Coquelin 5 2 2.5 0.9 7 2.6 8 91% 12 893

Not if the stats provided by Opta are to be believed, with the 24-year-old coming out on top in six of the eight key areas this season.

He has managed to best his teammate in several key defensive areas including tackles won per game, defensive duels won per game, interceptions won per game and ball recoveries per game.

He also enjoy success when it comes to the number of goals the side has conceded, as well as enjoying a better pass success rate so far this season.

The two areas Flamini comes out on top in are errors leading to shots on goal and effective clearances per game.

An impressive victory for Coquelin then, with these stats clearly demonstrating why the Gunners are so keen to have him back in their side as they eye the title at the end of the season.

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