Wenger Always Saw Something In Coquelin, Reveals Arsenal Legend

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Gunners boss expected midfielder breakthrough.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger always felt it was worth waiting for Francis Coquelin to develop into a first-team player, according to former Gunners defender Martin Keown, writing for BBC Sport.

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The Frenchman, 23, has been a real breakthrough performer for the North London side this season, and his fine performances have convinced Keown that Wenger does not need to go into the market for a new signing in midfield this winter.

The club legend has also revealed how the 65-year-old often felt Coquelin was close to a first-team place, but that he needed the experience of going out on loan, where he has been with Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton Athletic in recent seasons.

“His recent progress shows you why some players are worth waiting for, because I think by the age of 23, a lot of managers would probably have given up on him before now,” Keown said.

“Wenger, however, kept seeing something there. When I spoke to him recently, Wenger explained to me that, earlier in the season, every time he saw Coquelin train he told him that he should be in the first team but felt he had to go out on loan first because he needed the experience.”

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