Arsene Wenger happy with Francis Coquelin's progress at Arsenal

Francis Coquelin
© PA Photos
Arsene Wenger says that he is happy with defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin's performance for Arsenal so far this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed midfielder Francis Coquelin to succeed at the club.

The 21-year-old defensive midfielder, who played for Lorient on loan during the 2010-11 season, has made nine Premier League appearances for the Gunners so far this campaign.

"What Coquelin is doing is quite good," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "His qualities help the team to defend better.

"He has that ability to fly into people and win the ball back, and that's something important.

"I believe that there's an important stage once a player reaches 19 years of age and is not a regular player at Arsenal. [You must] get him somewhere to gain experience."

Wenger added that playing for Lorient in France has helped Coquelin improve his game.

"It has two advantages," said the Frenchman. "It lifts the potential of the player, gives him experience at the top level and convinces him that he has a chance to be successful.

"When the player comes back, he has experience and knowledge and you don't have to suffer for the mistakes of a beginner. It gives you more comfort to play him.

"I never felt that it was finished for him here. I always thought that that's a learning process of the top level."

Arsenal are currently sixth in the Premier League table.

Francis Coquelin
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