Coquelin: New Arsenal deal proof of the magic of football

The midfielder only returned from a loan spell with Charlton Athletic in December but has become a mainstay in the Gunners’ side with a string of fine performances

Francis Coquelin says his new long-term deal at Arsenal demonstrates the “magic” of football.

The 23-year-old put pen to paper on a new contract on Friday, along with striker Chuba Akpom, having regained a starting spot at the Emirates Stadium after returning from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic.

Since returning from The Valley, the former France Under-21 international has worked his way back into Arsene Wenger’s plans, and is delighted at agreeing fresh terms.

“I’m really pleased, I’ve been here since 2008, so it feels like a second home for me,” he told the club’s official website.

“It wasn’t really a tough decision, I have been here long enough and I know everyone here.

“Everyone makes me feel good every day and hopefully there will be more good years to come as well.

“This is what is magic about football: one day you are unknown and the next day you are a bit bigger. I think the most important thing is to stay the same as I have been doing for the last few years.”

Coquelin also backed the club’s decision to reward youth players such as himself and Akpom for their efforts in the first team.

“It is a good thing to try and keep the players who have been there for a long time,” he added.

“Everyone’s been here for a long time and we all know each other, so we help everyone on the pitch and off the pitch.

“It’s easier to tell someone off when you’ve known him for years than someone who’s just got in the team, and I think that’s why, at the moment, everything’s going well.”

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