Francis Coquelin signs new Arsenal deal to complete remarkable rise

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LONDON. KAZINFORM - Francis Coquelin has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal to set the seal on his remarkable rise to prominence in recent weeks.

The 23-year-old defensive midfielder's old deal was due to expire in the summer and he appeared to face an uncertain future when he was loaned to Charlton Athletic in the Championship in November. But Coquelin was recalled by Arsène Wenger in mid-December as an injury crisis bit and he has responded with a series of impressive performances. The France Under-21s international, who joined Arsenal from Laval in 2008 and was a member of the 2009 FA Youth Cup-winning team, is now a first-choice selection, Kazinform quotes the Guardian. "This is what is magic about football," Coquelin said. "One day, you are unknown and the next day, you are a bit bigger. It's a good thing to try and keep the players who have been here for a long time. We all know each other so we help everyone on and off the pitch. It's easier to tell someone off when you've known him for years than someone who's just got in the team. That's why everything's going well at the moment." Wenger has also given Chuba Akpom a new long-term contract. The 19-year-old striker would have become a free agent in the summer.

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