Coquelin with SC Freiburg in 2013
|Full name||Francis Coquelin|
|Date of birth||13 May 1991|
|Place of birth||Laval, France|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Current club||SC Freiburg
(on loan from Arsenal)
|2000–2005||AS du Bourny|
|2010–2011||→ Lorient (loan)||24||(1)|
|2013–||→ SC Freiburg (loan)||13||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Francis Coquelin (born 13 May 1991) is a French footballer who is currently on loan to Bundesliga club Freiburg from English club Arsenal. He plays as a defensive midfielder, but can also be utilized at right midfield or at right back. Coquelin is a French youth international and currently plays on the under-21 team.
Born in Laval, Mayenne, Coquelin began his career playing for AS Laval Bourny before departing in 2005 for the biggest club in the commune, Stade Lavallois. Coquelin spent three years at the club before being spotted by renowned Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi, while on international duty, playing in a 2008 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship elite round qualification match against Israel.
In July 2008, Coquelin joined Arsenal from Stade Lavallois following a successful trial with the club. Although he suffered a thigh injury which cut the trial short, Coquelin impressed and was subsequently offered a deal to stay in North London. Coquelin played for the first team in Arsenal's pre-season matches against Barnet and Szombathelyi Haladás, and made his competitive first team debut for Arsenal in a 6–0 win over Sheffield United on 23 September 2008, coming on as a substitute for Fran Mérida to play at right back. Coquelin scored his first goal in an Arsenal shirt in a reserve match against Stoke City on 6 October 2008, shooting powerfully in from the edge of the box with his weaker left foot.
Coquelin was a regular for Arsenal F.C. Reserves during the 2009–10 season, playing 12 times and scoring twice. On 22 September 2009, he made his first start for the first team against West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup third round, playing 58 minutes before he was replaced by Mark Randall. He featured again in the League Cup, this time as a second half substitute for Fran Mérida in the 2–1 victory against Liverpool. Coquelin made a disappointing first FA Cup start in a 3–1 loss to Stoke City. Playing in an unfamiliar right back position, he was substituted in the second half for Aaron Ramsey.
Loan to FC Lorient
Coquelin opted for a move to FC Lorient on a loan deal that saw him play his football in France throughout the 2010–11 season. He made his Lorient debut as a second-half substitute in the 2–1 home defeat to Nice on 14 August 2010. Coquelin grabbed his first assist as Lorient lost 6–3 to Lille. After beating one Lille player, he played a through ball for Kevin Gameiro for Lorient's opener. Coquelin received his first red card while playing at right back against Valenciennes. He received the second yellow card after a handball decision. Coquelin scored his first goal in professional football as FC Lorient beat Stade Rennais F.C. 2–1, Francis scored the winner from close range after Rennes goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez had spilled a Morgan Amalfitano long range effort. In the latter stages of the season Coquelin was heavy used on the right hand side of midfield. He completed his loan with Lorient making 24 appearances in Ligue 1, one appearance in the Coupe de France and scoring one goal. Sky Sports reported that Lorient manager Christian Gourcuff was keen to re-sign Coquelin as well as his Arsenal team mate Gilles Sunu on an additional year's loan.
After spending pre-season at the U-20 World Cup with France, Coquelin returned to Arsenal and on 28 August 2011 made his first team league debut against Manchester United. Coquelin played 62 minutes in the 8–2 defeat before being substituted for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Coquelin made his second Premier League start for Arsenal in the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. Despite Arsenal losing the game 2–1, Coquelin was voted as Arsenal.com’s Man of the Match by fans for the first time. On 6 December 2011, Coquelin made his UEFA Champions League debut for Arsenal in the 3–1 away defeat to Olympiacos, playing 67 minutes before being substituted for Tomáš Rosický. On 10 January 2012, Coquelin signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal. The Frenchman had been rewarded with a new deal after demonstrating his versatility with a string of fine performances in both holding midfield and defence. Coquelin got his first assist for Arsenal in the 7–1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, his low cross to the front post was turned home by Robin van Persie.
At the start of the 2012–13 season, Coquelin received a new squad number, moving from 39 to 22. He made his first start of the season in the 6–1 home win against Southampton, Coquelin played 67 minutes before being replaced by Aaron Ramsey. Coquelin provided his first assist of the season in the 6–1 victory over Coventry City FC in the League Cup. His sliding flick on for Olivier Giroud, allowed the Frenchman to score his first goal for the club. On 25 October 2012, Coquelin was awarded Arsenal.com's Man of the Match for his performance in the 2–0 home loss against FC Schalke 04.
Loan to SC Freiburg
Coquelin is a French youth international having earned caps for the under-17s, under-18s, under-19s, under-20s and under-21s. Coquelin played a key role in France winning the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, starting four of France's five matches. In the semi-final against Croatia, Coquelin skipped past three challenges and slipped a pass through for Cédric Bakambu to score the winning goal and put France into the final.
Coquelin, as well as former Arsenal team mate Gilles Sunu, were named in France under-20's final 21-man squad that competed at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Francis started and completed all seven of France's world cup games, as France finished fourth in Colombia.
- As of 12 November 2013
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
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- "Arsenal 7 - 1 Blackburn". Sky Sports. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
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