Francis Coquelin has been the find of the season for the Gunners, as he went from being on the fringes of the first team after loan spells at Freiburg and Charlton Athletic and almost leaving the club being on the last year of his contract, to establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet, the Frenchman’s turn of fortunes has been nothing short of a marvel.
After being recalled from his loan after the club were forced into an emergency situation following the injuries to most of his central midfielders, he went from strength to strength becoming one of their most valuable player by the end of the season.
The Frenchman genuinely loves the ball-winning aspect of football unlike most of the midfielders who have come through the Gunners academy and has caught the eye of everyone after a string of impressive displays. With a point to prove knowing that this could be his last opportunity otherwise, he played with all the heart and brought much needed stability to the team which was otherwise ruthlessly exposed by swift counter-attacks time and again.
His stand-out performance of the season came at the Etihad in the crucial 2-0 win over the citizens. He showcased positional awareness and commitment to mark City’s creative outlet in David Silva out of the game and led the disciplined defensive display for the Gunners. He was also vocal enough to instruct his team-mates to pay attention to their defensive duties.
He formed a incredible partnership with the Cazorla in the heart of the Arsenal’s midfield which was the engine to keep the team going in the second half of the season. Being one of the Gunners’ pleasant surprises of the season along with teenage right back Hector Bellerin, he guarded the back four with strength, agility and poise. His return from the loan also coincided with the North London club’s best run of games winning 8 in a row which revived the league’s standing of the club after what was a mediocre first half. He compares well with the league’s best DM in Matic and also betters other defensive midfielders in terms of statistics which speaks volumes of his contribution to the club as well as his individual development.
It is only fair to say that he has come a long way from being remarked as “Severely out of depth