Francis Coquelin says his loan spell at Charlton Athletic helped him adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
The French midfielder spent a month with the Addicks before being recalled and has featured in all seven of Arsenal’s games since then.
Coquelin’s transition has been seamless and he credits the Championship with preparing him for life in the top tier of English football.
"The manager called me for a reason, gave me my chance and I’m now trying to prove what I can do on the pitch"
“It’s been a couple of exciting months for me,” the 23-year-old told Arsenal Player. I’ve been out on loan to Charlton and that was a good experience for me. Now I’m back at Arsenal and playing again, so I’m enjoying it.
“The Championship is a tough league. Maybe technically the Premier League is a little bit better but in terms of power, engagement in duels and challenges, I think the Championship is a very tough league. It helped me come back to the Premier League.
“The manager called me for a reason, gave me my chance and I’m now trying to prove what I can do on the pitch. I’ve been here long enough so I know everyone quite well. Everyone made me very welcome, so I think [settling in] was easy.”
Arsenal’s next match is against Manchester City at Eithad Stadium on Sunday and Coquelin is relishing the chance to play against the champions.
“Every year they come with a very strong team and are challenging for the title,” the midfielder said. “They’ve bought a couple of great players as well so you know it’s going to be a tough game. Every player plays to play these types of games, so it’s going to be interesting.”
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