Coquelin - remember the name

He may not have the height of Patrick Vieira or the fire of Flamini, but Francis Coquelin looked like another real find when he played against Barnet on Saturday.

The Arsenal website announced on Friday that the 17-year-old Frenchman had signed professinal terms from third division French side Laval, though strangely, the story has since been removed.

While most of us were looking forward to seeing Mexican striker Carlos Vela in action, the injury he sustained in training on Friday gave Coquelin a berth in the squad - and it was some debut.


Happy to hang back and let others do the creating, Coquelin looks another real prospect.

I don't know whether he has studied Gilberto, but he certainly played like our departed Brazilian in his pomp. He was willing to put his foot in, willing to get hurt if that's what it took to win the ball and start another Arsenal attack.

The last youngster who joined Arsenal from the nether regions of French football was one Gael Clichy - and look what he has done.

Word has it that Lyon wanted the player, who has represented France at under-17 level - and their loss is our gain.

Expect to see him as a regular fixture in the Reserves next season, and with Arsene Wenger in charge, how long before he makes his first team debut?