One of the biggest revelations for Arsenal this season was the lucky break of bringing Francis Coquelin back from his loan period at Charlton. He was understandably worried that he would just be a bench-warmer, as he has been for most of his Arsenal career, and it still took a while before Arsene Wenger became confident of playing him in the first team.
By the end of the season Le Coq became one of the first names on the teamsheet, but according to Wojciech Szczesny he has always been brilliant in the Gunners training matches. “I’ve been here with Francis for seven years and we’ve always seen amazing potential,” Szczesny said on Arsenal.com. “Every time out there on the training field he was always the best player, back in the under-18s or the reserves.
“He was something special. His desire, his workrate and his ability to make tackles and interceptions is something incredible. I was quite surprised by how late Francis made his breakthrough.
“I know it’s very difficult to come into a team like Arsenal at quite a young age but I was quite surprised by it. I was expecting him to do it much sooner. So I’m delighted for him.
“He’s made the biggest impact this season. Since he came in, we look really solid defensively. He’s not a flash player, he doesn’t like to go past people. He doesn’t get assists and he doesn’t score many goals, but the work he does for the team is incredible.”
We all know his qualities now,but what I don’t understand how one of his team-mates thought so highly of him over the years, but Wenger never thought he was actually good enough for Arsenal first team! Am I the only one that finds that strange?