‘He has the best defensive statistics'

Francis Coquelin’s near-departure in 2014 is a well-worn tale, but he is now an essential member of our first team.

Arsene Wenger says that is down to the speed of the French midfielder’s passing, helping to start attacks from the base of the midfield.

Coquelin has signed a new long-term contract, and the boss has explained why he was so determined to keep him.

“He has the best defensive statistics [at the club], his defensive numbers are outstanding,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“He has improved a lot and he is one of the players with the quickest speed in terms of passing - the time between him getting the ball and passing it is one of the shortest.

“He’s capable, we want to move the ball faster than anyone and he’s part of that.

“He can win the ball, pass it fast and technically I believe he has made tremendous strides forward compared to two or three years ago because he’s focused every day.”


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