Coquelin: I needed to get out of comfort zone

Date published: Wednesday 17th February 2016 10:32

Francis Coquelin admits loan spells in France and Germany were key in his development into one of Arsenal’s key players.

Coquelin spent a season at Lorient in Ligue 1, before a year at Bundesliga outfit Freiburg, and is now Arsene Wenger’s first-choice defensive midfielder at the Emirates.

And the 24-year-old believes he needed to prove himself away from the club before he was given a chance in north London.

“It was a great learning experience, Arsenal is a great club – a massive club. But you are kind of in a comfort zone as it is such a big club, you have all the facility,” Coquelin told the Daily Mirror.

“To go away, go abroad and see a different culture and different football helped me a lot and I came back stronger.

“I always had belief in myself, I didn’t think it would happen that quickly as I was on loan quite a few times but when I went back I always had my belief.

“When the manager gave me my chance I grabbed it with both hands and just did the maximum I could to help the team.”

Arsenal manager Wenger is renown for giving young players an opportunity in the first-team and Coquelin admits his compatriot was one of the key factors in his decision to join the Gunners.

“He’s a great manager. He’s won everything and he always goes for younger players which is why I came here. He’s not scared to play younger players,” he added.

“It’s massive when you know the manager has your back and confidence in you. It’s a big thing and every time I play I want to give something back to him because he gave me my chance.

“Now I want to do really well for Arsenal.”

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