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'He was always the best in training'

Wojciech Szczesny is not surprised that Francis Coquelin has been such a success for Arsenal this season.

The French midfielder was recalled from a loan spell with Charlton Athletic in December and established himself as a key member of Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad, helping the Gunners retain the FA Cup.

Coquelin came second in Arsenal’s Vitality Player of the Season poll and Szczesny says that the 24-year-old's ability has been obvious for a while.

"Every time out there on the training field he was always the best player, back in the under-18s or the reserves"

Wojciech Szczesny

“I’ve been here with Francis for seven years and we've always seen amazing potential,” the Poland goalkeeper told Arsenal Player. “Every time out there on the training field he was always the best player, back in the under-18s or the reserves.

“He was something special. His desire, his workrate and his ability to make tackles and interceptions is something incredible. I was quite surprised by how late Francis made his breakthrough.

“I know it's very difficult to come into a team like Arsenal at quite a young age but I was quite surprised by it. I was expecting him to do it much sooner. So I'm delighted for him.

“He's made the biggest impact this season. Since he came in, we look really solid defensively. He's not a flash player, he doesn't like to go past people. He doesn't get assists and he doesn't score many goals, but the work he does for the team is incredible.”

Francis Coquelin

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