Francis Coquelin has been excellent once again this season, and has shown that he is one of the top defensive midfielders in football today. The statistics are there to back it up, and prove that the Frenchman is unquestionably the best defensive mid in the Premier League at the moment, as reported by the Metro.
We’ve lacked a real defensive midfielder for years, and our deficiencies in that area have cost us on multiple occasions. We have looked far more stable defensively since Coquelin was recalled early from loan almost a year ago though, and it’s now hard to see how we managed without him.
The figures (courtesy of Squawka) compare Coquelin to midfielders from our closest rivals: Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
The numbers show he is the superior player in almost every area, with Morgan Schneiderlin, Fernandinho, and Nemanja Matic all falling some way short.
In a number of cases he is infinitely better than his three counterparts, with his figures dwarfing theirs. And on the rare occasion he’s not the very best, he isn’t far behind.
They say stats can be manipulated to say almost anything, and if you pick the right time frame, statistic, or opponent then you can say whatever you like. This isn’t the first time Coquelin has received such praise though, and after just a short spell in the team last season the stats looked very similar.
The Daily Mail ran a similar article last season, with Coquelin topping the table in almost every area. Wenger has uncovered a real gem in the 24-year-old, even if his return to the club last year was somewhat fortunate.
Regardless of the nature of his resurgent Arsenal career, he is at the Emirates now and is a true Gooner.
He also boasts far more quality than these stats would suggest, as he’s also mentally strong and a real leader on the pitch. He can regularly be seen barking orders at his more senior teammates, and this is another trait we’ve missed for quite some time.
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Hopefully he continues improving and remains injury free this season, as we’ve seen through his absences just how important he has become to the side.