Ramsey hails Arsenal midfield partner Coquelin

The Frenchman has become the club’s first-choice defensive midfielder in recent fixtures and he has been praised by the Welshman ahead of Saturday’s north London derby

Aaron Ramsey has praised Francis Coquelin and says his new midfield partner gives him the “insurance” he needs to push forward more regularly.

Coquelin has emerged as Arsenal’s first-choice defensive midfielder in recent fixtures and penned a new contract at the Emirates earlier this week.

Ramsey says he has been impressed by the Frenchman’s development, and has revealed that he enjoys playing alongside the 23-year-old.

“He’s very solid defensively, wins the ball back and gives it to other players to start off attacks,” Ramsey explained.

“He’s done really well, I’ve been really impressed by the way he’s been playing and he’s earned this credit he’s getting at the moment.

“I have that insurance now where I know he’s going to be sitting in front of the back four so it allows me to get forward whenever I want.

“But I try to get back in as much as I can and as quickly as I can. I’m feeling stronger every game to be able to do that. The team’s doing really well and there’s a good understanding and level of confidence at the moment.”

The Gunners were beaten by a number of top-four contenders last season – including thrashings at Manchester City and Liverpool – but Ramsey insists the club have learned their lessons from the disappointments of 2013-14.

“We’ve learnt from last season when we left ourselves a bit too open in the big away games and teams picked us off,” he added.

“We’ve proven that against Manchester City (in a 2-0 away win) – sometimes you have to sit in and get bodies behind the ball to try and frustrate them. I thought we did that really well against City.”

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