Francis Coquelin

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Francis Coquelin
Coquelin-2015 (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full name Francis Coquelin[1]
Date of birth (1991-05-13) 13 May 1991 (age 25)
Place of birth Laval, France
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 34
Youth career
2000–2005 AS du Bourny
2005–2008 Stade Lavallois
2008–2009 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008– Arsenal 80 (0)
2010–2011 Lorient (loan) 24 (1)
2013–2014 SC Freiburg (loan) 16 (0)
2014 Charlton Athletic (loan) 5 (0)
National team
2007–2008 France U17 3 (0)
2008–2009 France U18 5 (0)
2009–2010 France U19 16 (0)
2010–2011 France U20 12 (0)
2011–2012 France U21 7 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:30, 3 December 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:48, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Francis Coquelin (born 13 May 1991) is a French professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for English club Arsenal.[3][4]

Club career[edit]

Born in Laval, Mayenne,[1] 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.[5]

Arsenal[edit]

On 22 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.[6]

Coquelin playing for Arsenal in a pre-season friendly against Barnet in 2008.

Early career[edit]

Coquelin played for the first team in Arsenal's pre-season matches against Barnet and Szombathelyi Haladás in the summer of 2008,[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

He was a regular for Arsenal's reserves during the 2009–10 season, playing 12 times and scoring twice.[10] 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.[11] He featured again in the League Cup, this time as a second-half substitute for Fran Mérida in the 2–1 victory against Liverpool.[12] 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.[13]

Lorient (loan)[edit]

Coquelin in training for Lorient.

Coquelin opted for a move to 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.[14] Coquelin grabbed his first assist as Lorient lost 6–3 to Lille. After beating one Lille player, he played a through-ball for Kévin Gameiro for Lorient's opener.[15] Coquelin received his first red card while playing at right back against Valenciennes. He received the second yellow card after a handball decision.[16] Coquelin scored his first goal in professional football as Lorient beat Rennes 2–1; he scored the winner from close range after Rennes goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez had spilled a Morgan Amalfitano long-range effort.[17] In the latter stages of the season, Coquelin was heavily 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.[18] Sky Sports reported that Lorient manager Christian Gourcuff was keen to re-sign Coquelin as well as his Arsenal teammate Gilles Sunu on an additional year's loan.[19]

Return to Arsenal[edit]

After spending pre-season at the U-20 World Cup with France, Coquelin returned to Arsenal, and on 28 August 2011, he made his first team league debut against Manchester United. He played 62 minutes in the 8–2 defeat before being substituted for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.[20] 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.[21] On 6 December 2011, he 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.[22] On 10 January 2012, he 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.[23] Coquelin got his first assist for Arsenal in the 7–1 victory over Blackburn Rovers; his low cross to the front post was converted by Robin van Persie.[24]

At the start of the 2012–13 season, Coquelin received a new squad number, moving from 39 to 22.[25] He made his first start of the season in the 6–1 home win against Southampton, playing 67 minutes before being replaced by Aaron Ramsey.[26] Coquelin provided his first assist of the season in the 6–1 victory over Coventry City in the League Cup; his sliding flick on for Olivier Giroud allowed his compatriot to score his first goal for the club.[27] On 25 October 2012, Coquelin was again awarded Arsenal.com's Man of the Match for his performance in the 2–0 home loss against Schalke 04.[28]

Freiburg (loan)[edit]

On 5 July 2013, Arsenal announced that Coquelin would be loaned to SC Freiburg for the 2013–14 season.[29] He was played out of position on the left wing during most of his time in Germany, which he admitted he found "tough".[30] He does however credit his season loan there as being beneficial to his development as a player,[30] and in November 2013 scored his first goal at first-team level in a 2–1 win over Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Europa League.[31]

2014–15 season[edit]

Without taking part in any games for Arsenal during the first three months of season 2014–15,[31] Coquelin joined Championship side Charlton Athletic on 3 November 2014 for a month's loan. He made his debut a day later coming off the bench in Charlton's 2–2 away draw with Leeds United at Elland Road.[32] Coquelin's loan deal was originally extended through the end of December 2014, but on 12 December, the media reported that Coquelin had been recalled early due to an injury crisis at Arsenal.[33]

Coquelin warming-up for Arsenal in 2015.

Having been recalled from his loan at Charlton to cover for injuries,[34] Coquelin made a late substitute appearance in the team's 4–1 league victory against Newcastle United on 13 December 2014.[35] After further substitute appearances in the team's next two matches against Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers, Coquelin was selected to start a Premier League match for the first time in 23 months as Arsenal beat West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December.[36] After this, Coquelin retained his place in the Arsenal team and performed impressively as the Gunners defeated champions Manchester City 2–0 at the Etihad Stadium on 18 January 2015.[37][38][39] In his Press Conference on 22 January 2015, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke of Coquelin's loan to Charlton, saying, "I saw that he made huge improvements in training so I sent him on loan for match practice."[40] On 1 March, during the win against Everton, Coquelin broke his nose in a collision with teammate Olivier Giroud[41] after a strong home performance as a midfield pivot to Santi Cazorla.[citation needed] Coquelin wore a protective mask and produced a resolute performance in the heart of midfield again against Queens Park Rangers on 4 March 2015,[42] completing 89% of his passes and successfully performed six out of six tackles.[citation needed]

Coquelin was a revelation on his return from loan at Charlton, establishing himself as one of the top defensive players in the Premier League. Since his first start of the season for Arsenal against West Ham United in December 2014, he went on to lead the league in defensive interceptions made, one-on-one duels, and placed second in tackles made, only four tackles fewer than Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta.[43] Arsène Wenger publicly displayed his shock of the sudden impact Coquelin brought since returning from loan, being quoted in The Guardian saying that Coquelin could be a "long-term solution."[41]

On 30 May, Coquelin was selected to start in the 2015 FA Cup Final, playing the full 90 minutes in a 4–0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.[44]

2015–16 season[edit]

He played in the season's opening game, the 2015 FA Community Shield against Chelsea, which Arsenal won 1–0.[45] Coquelin missed two games in September against Leicester City and Tottenham with a minor injury, and was dropped for a League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in October. Despite the three missed games, Coquelin played in every other Arsenal game since the season begun,[31] but his season was halted by a knee ligament injury sustained in a 2–1 defeat to West Brom that ruled him out for three months.[46]

Coquelin returned to training in mid-January 2016,[47] and made his return to the first team on 30 January, playing from the start in Arsenal's 2–1 win over Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup.[48]

International career[edit]

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.[49] 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.[50]

Coquelin, as well as former Arsenal teammate Gilles Sunu, were named in France under-20's final 21-man squad that competed at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[51] Francis started and completed all seven of France's world cup games,[52] as France finished fourth in Colombia.[53]

Coquelin received his first red card at the under-21 level in the 2–1 defeat to Slovakia; he was shown a straight red card after a challenge on Filip Kiss.[54]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Coquelin with SC Freiburg in 2013.
As of 4 December 2016[55]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Arsenal 2008–09 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2009–10 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2011–12 10 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 17 0
2012–13 11 0 2 0 3 0 6 0 0 0 22 0
2014–15 22 0 5 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 30 0
2015–16 26 0 2 0 0 0 6 0 1 0 35 0
2016–17 11 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 16 0
Arsenal total 80 0 13 0 11 0 19 0 1 0 124 0
Lorient (loan) 2010–11 24 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 1
SC Freiburg (loan) 2013–14 16 0 3 0 0 0 5 1 0 0 24 1
Charlton Athletic (loan) 2014–15 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Career total 125 1 17 0 11 0 24 1 1 0 178 2

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Arsenal Youth
Arsenal

International[edit]

France

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ "Barclays Premier League Player Profile". web page. Premier League. 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ http://ukexpress.org/sport/football/barclays-premier-league/arsenal/francis-coquelin-could-be-the-new-gilberto-silva-at-arsenal-after-manchester-city-game/
  4. ^ http://www.arsenalnews.co.uk/francis-coquelin-could-be-arsenals-replacement-to-gilberto-silva-after-manchester-city-game/link/815677/
  5. ^ Riach, James (3 March 2015). "Arsenal's Arsène Wenger: Francis Coquelin could be a long-term solution". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Coquelin signing complete and new home kit revealed". arsenalyouth.wordpress.com. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Francis Coquelin". Arsenal F.C. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Arsenal 6–0 Sheff Utd". BBC Sport. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
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  13. ^ "Stoke City 3 – 1 Arsenal". ESPN Soccernet. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Loan Watch: Coquelin makes Lorient debut". Arsenal.com. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Sanderson, Jamie (5 December 2010). "Loanees – Coquelin Assists As Lansbury Stars". Young Guns Blog. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Sanderson, Jamie (27 February 2011). "Loanees: JET Scores, Afobe & Miyaichi Assist". Young Guns Blog. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  17. ^ Sanderson, Jamie (16 April 2011). "Video: Coquelin Goal v Rennes". Young Guns Blog. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Francis COQUELIN". Ligue1.com. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
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  44. ^ a b "FA Cup final - FT: Arsenal 4-0 Villa". BBC. 30 May 2015. 
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  47. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (21 January 2016). "Arsenal news: Francis Coquelin returns to training almost month earlier than expected". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  48. ^ Muthanna, Pradhan (31 January 2016). "Arsenal 2-1 Burnley: Wenger delivers positive news regarding Alexis Sanchez and Coquelin's injury return". International Business Times. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
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  51. ^ "Coupe du Monde en Turquie" (in French). French Football Federation. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
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External links[edit]