Since rising to form last season seemingly out of nowhere, having just returned from a rather unimpressive spell at Charlton Athletic and excelling in an impressive victory against Manchester City, Francis Coquelin has been a regular fixture in the Arsenal set-up.
This season, rather surprisingly, Coquelin has more Premier League starts (14) than any other Arsenal midfielder, excluding Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil, but has come under some criticisms.
With his place in the team stopping the likes of Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny from featuring at times, Coquelin is under pressure to impress and many feel that the Frenchman has failed to do that too regularly.
However, although perhaps not being the most exciting player to watch on the ball, Coquelin is important to the Arsenal set-up and one statistic shows exactly why that is the case.
Francis Coquelin: Has made an interception more often (every 22.4 mins) than any other player to make 15+ Premier League apps in 2016 pic.twitter.com/JlJJjHnJI2
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 28, 2016
Averaging an interception ever 22.4 minutes this season, Coquelin provides a blanket to the defence that reduces the pressure on the Gunners’ backline and allows Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal to surge forward.
However, yet to register a goal or an assist this campaign, Coquelin may need to improve his attacking numbers to remain in the side in the long-term.