French tactician plays down Arsenal link

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Christian Gourcuff believes Lorient's footballing philosophy has helped them to secure a number of loan signings from Arsenal.

The Frenchman, who manages the Ligue 1 outfit, has successfully taken a number of young Gunners on short-term deals and helped aid their development.

Francis Coquelin, Gilles Sunu and Joel Campbell have all recently made the temporary switch from Arsenal, but Gourcuff denies there is any special link between the two clubs.

Instead, he says that Lorient are a favourable option for Arsene Wenger because their passing game is similar to what is embraced at the Emirates Stadium.


"There is no formal understanding," he told France Football. "I don't think our chairman knows the London officials very well, he just does business with them.

"Personally, I have no privileged relationship with Arsene Wenger. At one point we didn't speak on the phone for a whole year.

"However, obviously we share the same footballing philosophy and that helps to bring you closer."

Arsenal's poor start to the season has been attributed by and large to the inexperience of his young players, so the chance to experience regular football prior to their transition into the Gunners' first-team often proves invaluable.

"Arsene knows how we work so we are able to get a few players that we maybe wouldn't otherwise be able to get," Gourcuff continued. "[Carlos] Vela came close to joining us as well but he wanted to go to a side where he could speak Spanish.

"We knew a lot about Joel Campbell and knew that it would be possible to get him on loan. The chairman was able to make that happen."

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