By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has changed his mind about Francis Coquelin's position.

The French midfielder came through the ranks at Emirates Stadium as a combative central midfielder but he made his first-team debut as a right-back in an FA Cup tie at Stoke in January 2009.

Wenger believed his compatriot had a future in the back four but Coquelin's progress while on loan at Lorient - and his performances this season - have convinced him otherwise.

"He is more a player who likes to cover ground than a player who starts from the back in a tactical position," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

"He likes to be involved at the heart of things. A player's position has to suit his personality. When that is not the case, in the long-term you have no chance.

"I always thought he would be a player for Arsenal Football Club but he is a little bit in the situation of Jack Wilshere last year - the loan out to a top division club has done him good confidence-wise.

"He has transferred that into our first team now. He was good at the [Under-19] World Cup with France, and he is moving on well and improving."

Wilshere, Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong are three graduates of the 2009 Youth Cup-winning side to go on and make their mark in the Arsenal first team. Wenger rates them highly.

"When a team wins at Youth Cup level usually there is some quality there," he said. "It happens sometimes that a team wins the cup and doesn't bring any players through but it looks like in this team many players will make it."

The full interview with the boss is now available on Arsenal Player.

  • Emirates Stadium is set for another bumper Carling Cup crowd, but tickets are still available HERE
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24 Oct 2011