Arsenal enforcer Francis Coquelin has admitted that he would love to be the club’s new Patrick Vieira and stated that his job is to bring aggression to the North London outfit’s midfield.
The Frenchman has been in exceptional form since being recalled to the Gunners’ first-team squad following a loan stint at Charlton, and recently signed a new long-term deal with Arsene Wenger’s men.
With the Emirates Stadium side hosting Liverpool in a crunch fixture later today, Coquelin is set to play a key role in his team’s chances of three points.
When asked if he can be Arsenal’s new Patrick Vieira, the young star has stated that he hopes to fill the void left by his compatriot.
“I’m not going to say I am. Obviously I want to be, but I think it’s down to the performance I put in every week so I’m just trying to give me best every game so hopefully I can do that in the long term,” The Mirror quote Coquelin as saying.
“As a French person, you look at other French people. But there is one you haven’t mentioned who I looked up to – even if he didn’t play much for Arsenal. Lassana Diarra is a player I really liked.
“I think he was quite similar to the way I play, his aggression quite similar what I’m trying to do. He is a player I really like.
“I’m trying to do the defensive work for the players who play up front, trying to give my best, get the ball as quick as possible to play it to the players who have got a little bit more ability than me on the ball.
“Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez… we’ve got a lot of quality. I think we lacked a little bit of aggression in midfield and that’s what I’m trying to bring to the team.”
Coquelin’s interception and tackling statistics have been very impressive since returning to the Arsenal fold and his presence means that Wenger’s search for a midfield enforcer may finally be over.