Coquelin: Arsenal recall surprised me

The young Frenchman reveals he was preparing an upcoming Championship fixture with Charlton until Arsene Wenger called him back from his loan deal

Francis Coquelin says he was taken by surprise when Arsene Wenger decided to recall him, having been preparing for Charlton’s next match just days before being thrust into Arsenal action.

The French midfielder returned to Emirates Stadium in December, just a month after joining the Championship outfit on loan, and has since become an integral part of Wenger’s side, starting each of the last five Premier League fixtures.

But Coquelin has revealed that he had no idea of his manager’s plans to recall him and, though he felt bad abandoning Charlton, was determined to prove himself at his parent club.

“It’s weird because the way it happened was so sudden, so I didn’t expect it,” he told Arsenal Player. “I trained with the team all week and on Monday I was going to see the Charlton manager with a few other people about a change of formation.

“He explained what he wanted me to do and told me I would be a big part of the formation.

“Then on the Thursday night, I was at home watching TV and got the call from Arsenal. That’s football and you just need to take it.

“I felt a little bit bad about Charlton because we had trained all week, were ready for the game and it was so sudden.

“It’s part of football and my focus went to the Newcastle game as soon as Arsenal called me. I tried to give my best when I came on.

“Without Charlton, I probably wouldn’t be here because I wasn’t performing that well but they gave me the chance to play and I wasn’t out of fitness when I came back. I think that helped me a lot.”

Coquelin came off the bench against Newcastle in his first game back at Arsenal, but has completed 90 minutes in each of his last five appearances, with the Gunners winning four of those.

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