Gilberto Silva isn’t any stranger to the comparisons drawn between himself and Francis Coquelin but he’s revealed that he still takes it as a compliment.
The Arsenal legend has heaped praise onto Coq in the past, claiming that the midfielder is proving himself time and time again. And even now, after the Frenchman has taken a slight step backwards in the pecking order behind new signing, Granit Xhaka, Gilberto is still happy to be compared to the 25-year-old.
Speaking to Goal.com, Gilberto explained how he felt about the comparison.
“Coquelin had very good moments last year.
“I heard comparisons to me which I’m happy about because it means people understood my role and the job I was doing.
“Maybe they didn’t understand at first because at the beginning they expected a Brazilian player to score the goals!”
Are Gilberto and Coquelin that similar?
In some ways they are. While Xhaka offers us more going forward, Coq’s defensive work is brilliant, even if that does mean him passing sideways a lot of the time. He definitely has teams that he’s more suited to.
Gilberto was known for being an unmovable force. However, the Brazilian was arguably less of a liability. He had a reasonably clean record, only receiving 15 yellow cards and two reds over six years, while Coquelin, despite improving, picked up five yellows in the Premier League last season alone.
Coq has a long, long way to go before we can start hailing him as the next Gilberto.