Gilberto Silva is known as one of the best defensive midfielders Arsenal have ever had and therefore, his opinion on our current man, Francis Coquelin, is worth listening to.

In fact, the 39-year-old had nothing but praise for the current midfielder, insisting that he keeps proving himself on the pitch and hailing his improvements.

Speaking recently to 888sport, Gilberto gushed, “He is improving game by game and from last season to this one he is much better.

“He is getting to know his position well and that’s important because his role is to allow those up front to play while protecting the back four. He will be very important for Arsenal in the final third of the season.

He is a young player and what he’s done for Arsenal in the short time he’s been playing has been great. When I was at Arsenal I was older, with more experience and big guys around me,’ the Brazilian added.

“He is proving himself over and over and I hope he is at Arsenal for a long period because for any team to have a player who is willing to do the hard job then it makes it harder for the opposition to pass through your defence.”

It’s interesting that Gilberto is comparing himself to Coquelin, and to be honest, this is one of the biggest compliments the 24-year-old could receive. The midfielder has been fantastic for us since being re-called from his loan spell at Charlton last season and although he’s had to suffer through a tough knee injury, he definitely seems to be one for the future.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Francis Coquelin of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Coquelin does have a certain grit about him that we need in our side and can be crucial in the type of games where we need that extra boost. Although his performances haven’t all been glowing, he’s getting there, which is the main thing.