Francis Coquelin has come a long way over the past two years. From being a relative unknown cursed with bad luck in the injury department, he's now a key part of Arsene Wenger's midfield.
At one point it looked as though his time to shine in north London would never come and he was destined to see his career progress away from the Emirates.
A loan spell with Charlton Athletic seemed to spell the beginning of the end of his time at Arsenal, but Coquelin has since revealed that being brought back from his loan spell with the Addicks...made him angry.
Having enjoyed an extended run in the team at Charlton, the Frenchman felt as though he was getting some good game time under his belt despite the club being in the division below.
And upon his return to Arsenal, he was placed on the bench and feared that he had been brought back for no good reason, and in an interview with L'Equipe, even revealed that he had words with Wenger regarding the decision.
“Yes, I was angry,” he said. “I remember when I came back and I was on the bench for the first few games.
“So I didn’t understand. I said (to Wenger), ‘I was playing every game at Charlton, now I’m back here and I’m not playing.’
“And I remember he said to me, ‘You’ll see, your chance will come’.
“And I’d go on for two minutes, three minutes, and I was thinking, ‘my chance will come’. And yes, against West Ham, the match I really wasn’t expecting to start, he put me in the starting line-up.”
Strength to strength
Since that loan spell with Charlton, the 25-year-old has gone on to become an established member of the side, contributing a total of 121 appearances, but scoring no goals.
But though he has become a regular face in the starting line up, he is still enduring his difficulties with injury.
Last season he was ruled out for three months with a knee ligament injury, while this term he has had to battle back from another knee problem he picked up in a meeting with Chelsea.
It's a credit to him that even though Arsenal have brought in Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka to add more competition to the central midfield area over the past year, he's still able to make a strong case for his inclusion.
If only he could stop picking up these injuries.
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