Every season a number of Arsenal players go out on loan to gain valuable first-team experience and the 2010/11 campaign was no different.
Arsenal.com have tracked the progress of the loanees throughout the season and our ‘Loan Review’ series will examine each player in turn. Today we focus on Francis Coquelin and Gilles Sunu.
After joining Ligue 1 side Lorient on a season-long loan last summer, Francis cemented his place under Christian Gourcuff with a string of fine performances.
The French midfielder got some valuable experience under his belt, making 24 appearances and scoring once.
“I have really improved through the last six months,” he told the Official Arsenal Magazine in February.
“The first thing is tactically. The Lorient coach, Gourcuff, is very rigorous. He is a very tactical manager and I knew I would improve a lot under him. I listen a lot and learn a lot with him.
“I [have] improved also in my overall game. The reason for that is that I am playing much more with the first-team than when I was at Arsenal where I was mostly with the Reserves.
“The more I have played here, the stronger I have become. I am very happy with my progress. I was aware of my abilities and I knew what I wanted to achieve here: play a lot, get some experience and improve.”
Lorient manager Christian Gourcuff speaking in February:
“He has improved a lot already in his use of the ball and in how he controls the game. When he arrived, he was making the wrong choices with the ball at times - now, he is more accurate and pertinent.
“Francis’ performances have been very good and he has been a pleasant surprise for us this season. He is clever and a good lad to have in the squad but most importantly he is talented and it is easy for a coach to have players like him in my team.
“I really believe that his loan here will be great for Francis, for us and for Arsenal. If Arsène Wenger loaned him here at Lorient, it’s because he knew that Francis would be in the same set up as Arsenal.”
Gilles joined Francis at Lorient in January, moving to the north of France for the remainder of the season.
With in-form striker Kevin Gameiro one of the league’s top goalscorers, the young striker was limited to nine substitute appearances.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 30 May 2011