Re-called from a loan spell at Charlton Athletic a matter of weeks ago, few predicted that Francis Coquelin would have much, if any, major impact at Arsenal. From question marks and jeers when he was named in Arsene Wenger’s XI, the young Frenchman seems to have won over some of the fans in the Emirates Stadium, and as he lines up against champions Manchester City, his stats out-shine those of mega money duo Fernando and Fernandinho.
The Brazilian double act shield the Sky Blues’ backline and cost a combined figure of almost £50m, but Coquelin, per 90 minutes, is the better enforcer. The 23-year-old is better in every major way than his opponents, registering better numbers in terms of tackles, clearances and interceptions. Also, his pass percentage, although the lowest, is not far from his foes’ efforts. Wow.