Francis Coquelin is looking forward to Arsenal’s trip to Manchester this weekend and hopes to give the fans something to be proud of.

When he was recalled from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic due to first team injuries in 2014, Coquelin seemed like a revelation. He was a tad hot-headed, yes, but he was passionate and seemed to really care. He was what we needed at the time.

However, over the past few seasons, particularly when his style was compared with the creative Mikel Arteta, his preference for being more… defensive… came to light.

Francis Coquelin
Francis Coquelin during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England.14

Now, with Granit Xhaka in the side, it’s become glaringly obvious how often Coq passes sideways or backwards compared to the Switzerland international, who has become famed for his balls.

At the moment, Coq believes, it’s working since he adds a certain balance to the attacking side.

“I think defensively I’m probably the most defensive-minded player in the middle, so if I can give the balance to the team then that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.

“Hopefully I can carry on doing that in the coming games.”

Coquelin is likely to start away at the Etihad on Sunday and, to be fair, the 25-year-old does tend to relish these chances. Hopefully, he’ll have a good game and show us what he brings to the side.

“I think it’s going to be what all footballers dream about,” he said.

“It’s a massive game. It’s going to be on every TV in the world as well, so hopefully we can give great pleasure to the fans and hopefully the result will go our way.”