Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin admits he is loving his role in front of the back four this season and has welcomed comparisons to that of his compatriot and Chelsea legend Claude Makekele, the Guardian reports.
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The Frenchman was loaned out to Championship side Charlton Athletic at the start of the season and it appeared his career with the Gunners was looking bleak, but a midfield injury crisis at the Emirates handed him a recall and the chance to stake his claim to become a first team regular, which he has taken with both hands.
Coquelin’s role in the team was hailed as a big reason for the Gunners breaking their hoodoo against both Manchester clubs since the turn of the year and he admits he’s thriving in that defensive role:
“If I can take away 10% of their defensive duties then they can have 10% more to attack and score goals and win us the game and I’m delighted.” he told the Guardian.
“I remember Zidane and a lot of great players saying when you took out Makelele you took out the heart of their team.”
“I think players who play this position don’t want the spotlight. They like to do their job and then they leave the bling-bling for other players.” Coquelin explained.
The 23-year-old is expected to feature once again for the Gunners on Monday night as they look to secure a top-three finish in the Barclays Premier League when in-form Swansea City are the visitors to the Emirates Stadium .