Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has said that he always knew Francis Coquelin had it in him to succeed at the top level.

Wilshere has been playing with the Frenchman since they were aspiring starlets and the pair did play together for Arsenal’s youth team.

The England midfielder took the elevator to the first team but Coquelin had to work hard in the youth teams and later during his loan spells outside the club to prove his worth.

The Frenchman was at Charlton Athletic on a loan deal when he was called back to Arsenal in December after Arsene Wenger felt a shortage of midfielders in his squad.

A few substitute appearances later Coquelin started against West Ham at Upton Park and was superb as a defensive midfielder in Arsenal’s 2-1 win. Since then he has been a regular feature in the first eleven and has played a crucial part in their recent run of form.


Wilshere admits that the Frenchman did take some time to flourish at Arsenal but insisted that he always knew Coquelin had the ability to succeed at the top level for the Gunners.

“I’ve played with Francis since I was 15 or 16 so we know each other really well. He didn’t get a look in before that”, the midfielder told Arsenal player.

“But I always knew that once he got his chance he would deliver, and he gets better and better as each game goes on.”

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