This Arsenal midfielder credits Charlton with turning his career around

Francis Coquelin says that his time on loan at the Valley was a key factor in making him the player he is today.

Francis Coquelin has told Arsenal's official website that his brief stint at Championship side Charlton Athletic made him a far better player than he was before his time at the Valley.

The 24-year-old played just five league matches for the Addicks at the end of 2014 before being recalled back to the Emirates Stadium.

The midfielder had played just once for the Gunners last season before his fleeting time with Charlton, but went on to rack up a further 30 appearances after being recalled.

Coquelin believes that it was his time with the Championship side, regardless of how short his spell with the club was, that was the catalyst for the upturn in his career.

He told the Gunners' official website: "Every time I got the chance to say a little word about Charlton, I’m doing it because I had a great time over there. I met great people there.

"They gave me a little taste of playing football again, week in and week out. It was great for me. I got a lot of experience and all the lads and staff were great with me. It was a terrific experience for me and I came back here much stronger."

Since returning from the Valley in December 2014, the Frenchman had been a regular fixture in Arsene Wenger's squad, barely missing a game for the first team.

However, the midfielder sustained a knee injury in November which has ruled him out of action for the last three months.

Arsenal are currently third in the Premier League, two points off leaders Leicester City after beating the Foxes last weekend.

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