Arsenal have confirmed that midfielder Francis Coquelin has joined German side SC Freiburg on loan for the forthcoming 2013/14 season.
The France U21 international has made a total of 43 appearances for the Gunners since joining the club as a 17-year-old in 2008. Coquelin was part of the Arsenal squad that won the FA Youth Cup in 2009 and made his first-team debut in September of the same year, starting against West Brom in the third round of the League Cup.
The 22-year-old was then loaned out to French side Lorient for the 2010-11 season but returned a year later and quickly became a regular fixture in manager Arsene Wenger’s matchday squad.
Having signed a new contract with the Club in 2012, Coquelin will look to gain further experience and build up his playing time as he joins Christian Streich’s Freiburg side.
Speaking to Freiburg TV , Coquelin said :
“I’m very proud to sign for Freiburg. First of all my aim is to add up well with the teammates, I’ve not met them yet. Then I want to have a good season with Freiburg.
“I met the coach and a few people in the club, everyone has been very nice to me up to now, so as I say I’m very happy to be here and now I’m waiting for the season to start.”
Coquelin is the second Arsenal player to make the move to the Bundesliga in recent weeks after Johan Djourou joined Hamburg few days back.
Coquelin voiced his concerns over his lack of playing time last season despite featuring in 22 games his most in a single season for the Gunners – although the majority of his appearances did come from the substitutes bench. It seems he’ll now be given a chance to show what he can do in the Bundesliga before returning to the Emirates next summer and making a real push for the first team.
The 22-year-old proved himself to be a versatile member of Arsene Wenger’s squad after breaking into the first-team in August 2011, playing at both right and left-back as well as his preferred position of central-midfield.
However, after the arrivals of Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, as well as the return to fitness of Jack Wilshere, Coquelin struggled to make an impression last season, though he did manage 22 appearances in all competitions.his most in a single season for the Gunners although the majority of his appearances did come from the substitutes bench.
Hopefully he will comeback a better player.