Charlton captain comments on ‘very gifted’ Arsenal outcast

Johnnie Jackson has been impressed by Arsenal’s on-loan midfielder Francis Coquelin.

Coquelin completed a short-term loan switch to the Valley at the beginning of November, and his since turned out four times for the Addicks.

The 23-year-old Frenchman recently extended his stay in the Championship until the end of December, and he was arguably Charlton’s best player on Saturday afternoon, as the London club fell to a 94th minute strike from Noel Hunt on the way to a defeat to Ipswich. Playing in the double-pivot alongside club captain Johnnie Jackson, Coquelin registered two shots - one of which almost opened the scoring were it not a for good save from Bartosz Bialkowski - and won three tackles, but he could do nothing to stop Leeds loanee Hunt netting the winner in injury time.

After a string of impressive performances, Addicks’ boss Bob Peeters will surely be keen on keeping the young midfielder through until the end of the campaign, and Jackson, who has been sharing midfield duties with the former Under-21 international, is keen to see him remain at the club, calling him a ‘very gifted’ talent for a Championship club.

Quoted by London24, Jackson said: “I think he’s a very gifted player.

“He’s played Champions League for Arsenal so you’re obviously going to be a good player to have played at that level.”

Coquelin had a larger impact in the middle third than Jackson, playing 43 passes with a completion rate of 79%. He set up two chances for his teammates, but the profligacy of the Charlton forwards cost him registering an assist during the game, and Jackson has commented on the Frenchman’s passing ability, citing it as his best trait.

“I’ve been impressed by him,” the 32-year-old added. “Against Ipswich he was excellent with his range of passing. He’s nice to play alongside.”

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