As it’s an international week, I thought why not do another loan watch. This time we take a closer look at Francis Coquelin’s season so far.
The French youngster was loaned to German outfit Freiburg in the summer and, to be honest, that was kind of a surprise to me. With the signing of Mathieu Flamini later on, the loan move seems to have been the right move for Francis at this stage of his career.
Freiburg is a good Bundesliga side. They have a similar approach to what Arsenal do each year; play attractive football and give youngsters a chance to shine. Of course it’s on a much lower level and the media attention isn’t even close to Arsenal’s but it I think it’s good to get into a similar club structure and philosophy.
Francis has played in six games so far this season starting in five of them. He has a pass completion rate of 65.5 % and a tackle win rate of around 50 % which isn’t that bad for a defensive midfielder. Francis did fight as ever and get’s some organisation in Freiburg’s midfield. Sadly Freiburg struggle to get back to winning ways as they did last season which is basically down to a loss of quality players this summer. They need to dig deep in the upcoming matches, but that will be a good lesson to learn for Francis.
Getting to know the relegation battle can make you a better player when it comes to games further down the line, defend a lead. Thanks to their impressive last season, Freiburg play in the Europa League which is another plus for Francis this season. He has the opportunity to play at an international level on a regular basis, which he was far from guaranteed at Arsenal. Freiburg started their Europa League campaign with a draw at home to Liberec and a loss away to Sevilla. Francis was brought on against Liberec and was substituted against Sevilla after 61 minutes. There is room to improve for the club and the player in the upcoming Europa League matches but it will be hard to for them the survive the group stage.
But every match played on international level will gain experience for Francis which was the main reason for the loan this summer. Similar to Jack Wilshere’s loan several seasons ago, it’s important to be in first-team action week in and week out. Francis wasn’t supposed to win trophies at Freiburg, so being in the starting XI and get his personal game on a constant high level will be the key to his future Arsenal career.
We will monitor Francis’ development over the season and will give you further updates as the season progresses.