Francis Coquelin says young players need to remain mentally strong to succeed at the highest level.
The French midfielder was voted Vitality Player of the Month for August by Arsenal fans after a string of impressive performances, including the Community Shield victory against Chelsea.
Although he is now a regular, Coquelin had to wait six years for his chance in the first team and his advice to Arsenal’s youngsters is to never give up.
“If you keep working hard, at some point it will pay off,” he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “Sometimes it’s mentally hard and you don’t get the chances you have to stay mentally strong and it’s important to have good people around you.
“You have to make good decisions as well and when you get a chance you need to grab it. The most important thing is not to give up.”
Coquelin was given his first start in 2014/15 after a brief loan spell at Charlton Athletic, and the midfielder believes regular first-team football is vital for a young player’s development.
“It’s good experience,” he said. “You get to know what it’s all about in the different leagues. There’s a lot of comfort here. Arsenal is a great club with loads of facilities, but when you go to other clubs you realise that not everywhere is Arsenal.
“You need to prove yourself every week, especially when you go on loan with the Arsenal label. You need to give even more. It’s good experience for them. I’ve been watching the results recently of Hull City, and I’ve seen that Chuba’s scored a few goals and Isaac’s playing as well.
“It’s going to be a good experience and if they can stay injury-free, keep performing, then it will be good for them.”
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