Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has admitted that he didn’t want to return from his loan this January, despite the fact he’s become a mainstay in Arsene Wenger’s first-team since.
The Frenchman began the campaign playing for Championship side Charlton Athletic, but was called back to the Gunners fold by Wenger at the end of last year.
Since then he’s been a revelation in north London, anchoring Wenger’s midfielder to the point where fans probably wouldn’t be upset if Arsenal didn’t buy another holding midfielder this summer.
However, as relayed by ESPN, Coquelin has conceded that he wasn’t happy to be withdrawn from Charlton, and Wenger noticed it on his face when he did return to the Emirates Stadium.
Change of fortunes
"It was true that I wasn't happy when I came back," Coquelin said.
"I was playing regularly even if it was in the Championship and obviously to be on the bench, I was a bit frustrated. The chance came against West Ham and I ready for it.
"The manager said to me that I didn't look happy when I came back. I said 'yeah, it's true' because I was playing regularly and then I was back on the bench and then I started the West Ham game when I didn't expect it.
Though initially Coquelin was only recalled to his parent club due to the injury crisis taking place under Wenger, the 24-year-old has since made the position in front of the back four his own, and it would be incredibly surprising were he ever to be loaned out from Arsenal again.
That said Wenger might well dip into the market to buy someone who can provide him with alternative options in the middle of the park, particularly seen as though Arsenal have been hotly linked with the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Ilkay Gundogan and Arturo Vidal of late.
Moving on up
With his side having been exceptional during the second-half of this Premier League campaign Wenger will know that with just a couple of addition in key areas his Gunners can probably challenge the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City more efficiently next term.
As for Coquelin his place next year is assured thanks to the shock and awe impact he’s had, though one or two of his teammates might not be able to say the same.
Arsenal fans, just how good as Coquelin been this year? Do you need a new defensive midfielder? Let us know in the comments box below.