Francis Coquelin has looked back on his time at Arsenal after he established himself in the club’s first team, in a surprising twist of fate.
The current Villarreal midfielder had joined the Gunners after being heavily scouted by the club, but he was sent out on loan to Charlton to further his development since he lacked playing time at the Emirates.
Arsenal recalled him when Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey all got injured and he got many chances to impress.
He was in the company of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, two of the finest players in the Premier League at the time, and he recalls how he enjoyed working with both players.
He said via Sports Witness: “It was amazing! I was playing with Santi Cazorla and Mesut Özil in front of me. I could send them rubbish balls, and they controlled them with ease.
“The understanding I had with Cazorla particularly stayed with me. He’s really impressive. I could do what I wanted on the pitch, I knew he would always there as a guarantee.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
The Arsenal midfield at the time Coquelin was breaking into the team was one of the finest we have had in a while.
The Frenchman had the rare privilege of learning under some of the best players in the world, and it definitely affected his development positively.