Young French midfielder Francis Coquelin featured for Arsenal across all competitions last season.
A tigerish defensive midfielder with good acceleration and composure on the ball, his promising progress continued as he passed the 40-appearance mark for the Gunners. Starting all three Capital One Cup games, he also enjoyed a fine 90 minutes in the FA Cup win over Swansea and impressed in the Champions League group stage victory against Olympiacos. In addition he made three Premier League starts.
Francis Coquelin Profile
May 13, 1991
||Freiberg (loan), Lorient (loan)
||September 23, 2008
Well known for his versatility, having also played in both full-back positions, Francis arrived from Laval in 2008 and was an FA Youth Cup winner in his first season as an Arsenal player. He debuted for the first team in the 6-0 Carling Cup win over Sheffield United in September 2008. He enjoyed a highly productive season on loan with French Ligue 1 side Lorient in 2010/11, with his achievements including a dramatic goal in the local derby against Rennes.
Francis has represented his country throughout the youth levels, and was a UEFA Under-19 Championship winner in 2010 – starting four of France’s five games. He also competed in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2011.
Francis made his debut for Freiburg in the 3-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. Two weeks later he was sent off in their high scoring draw with Hoffenheim after he was booked twice in the space of a minute just before half-time.
Francis made five appearances in a difficult month for Freiburg as they dropped to 17th in the Bundesliga table.
Francis did not feature in August. "I am here in the first team and have been since last season,” said the young Frenchman. “Now I want to push on and be in the starting XI. I just want to play as much as football as I can. Last season the manager showed faith in me and now I have to show him that he can carry on in this way, that I have the qualities to play for Arsenal."
Francis made four appearances in September, producing a series of tidy performances at the heart of midfield.
Francis started both of Arsenal’s Champions League matches in October. The French midfielder was named Man of the Match for a battling display in the home loss to Schalke.
Francis featured largely as a substitute in November, coming off the bench four times. He started the game against Fulham.
Francis featured six times in December, missing only the defeat at home to Swansea. “We started really well, we had a great first half and when you are winning 1-0 away you want to hold on to the result,” he told Arsenal Player following the loss against Olympiacos. “We dropped a little bit and they scored two goals, so we are really disappointed. It is a tough place, but let's not forget we are Arsenal Football Club and when you come here, everyone wants to win [against you]. We could have come back with a win so we are very frustrated.”
After starting and impressing against both Swansea City and Chelsea, Francis’ month was curtailed when he picked up a hamstring injury.
Francis was an unused substitute in all of Arsenal’s fixtures in March, though he did start for the under-21s in their last-gasp victory against Manchester United at Underhill.
Francis featured once in April, coming on in the 89th minute to help see out victory against West Bromwich Albion. The midfielder completed 90 minutes of action as Arsenal Under-21s were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur.
Francis was in the Arsenal squad on one occasion during May. The midfielder was an unused substitute in the victory at Queens Park Rangers.
Francis featured once during the month, playing the full match as Arsenal bowed out of the Carling Cup against Manchester City.
Francis was a regular in Arsene Wenger's first-team squad, filling in at right back in the victory over Aston Villa and starting in Greece for the defeat against Olympiacos. The midfielder also played on the left side of the defence against QPR, replacing Thomas Vermaelen as a second-half substitute.
Francis featured twice for the Gunners at the start of the month, although he pulled his hamstring in the second game against Leeds. He returned to action against Aston Villa in the FA Cup. The French midfielder also signed a new long-term contract with the Club.
Francis continued to recover from a hamstring injury.
Francis recovered from a hamstring injury to rejoin the squad towards the end of the month. Although he did not make an appearance, the young Frenchman was on the bench for matches against Chelsea and Stoke.
Francis returned to the first-team set-up for Arsenal's final two matches of the season. He filled in at right back against Norwich when Bacary Sagna was injured and started at the heart of midfield in the final-day victory over West Brom.