Gourcuff praises Arsenal loanee Coquelin

Lorient coach Christian Gourcuff has lavished praise on Arsenal loanee Francis Coquelin for his notable performances this season.

The 19-year-old midfielder, who joined the Gunners in 2008 from Stade Lavallois, has been limited to bit-part roles in cup competitions since his move to Emirates Stadium.

In a bid to build up more first team experience, Coquelin has ventured back to France and been a standout performer thus far.

In an interview with Arsenal’s official club magazine, Gourcuff expressed his delight at having the France under-20 international on board and his surprise at his rapid development.

"I am very happy with Francis so far this season. I have to say that I am still very surprised by his progress and evolution," he said.

Continuing to elaborate on the progress Coquelin has made, Gourcuff said: "He has improved a lot already in his use of the ball and in how he controls the game. When he arrived, he was making the wrong choices with the ball at times. Now, he is more accurate and pertinent."

Gourcuff was quick to stress, however, that Arsenal will benefit most from Coquelin’s loan move in the long run and delighted his club was entrusted with aiding the midfielder’s development.

"I really believe that his loan here will be great for Francis, for us and for Arsenal. If Arsene Wenger loaned him here at Lorient, it’s because he knew that Francis would be in the same set up than at Arsenal."

Coquelin is expected to return to Arsenal at the end of the season and become a regular challenger for first team football at Emirates Stadium.

By Killian Woods