Cape Town - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says “there’s nobody better to play alongside” than Francis Coquelin.
The French midfielder has become an integral part of the Arsenal team during 2015, providing a solid platform for Arsène Wenger's more attacking players to express themselves.
While Coquelin's tenacious displays may not always catch the eye, Oxlade-Chamberlain feels the 24-year-old's role in the team should not be underestimated.
"At the moment he’s the first person I’d put on my teamsheet," the England international told Arsenal Player.
"I love watching him play and it’s not often that you tend to say that.
"You love watching the Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozils of the world play, and someone who does the work which goes unnoticed you don’t really appreciate.
"I watch all the games and when I’m playing alongside Francis, there’s nobody better to play with. He brings that security and confidence that you have someone like that who can pick the ball up, intercept balls that should never be intercepted, win tackles that you don’t think he can win, and he’s also a quality player on the ball as well.
"You can never take away his technical ability and that goes unnoticed at times because he just does his job, but he’s probably one of the best technicians in our side as well."
Coquelin is not Arsenal's only defensive-minded player to catch the eye of Oxlade-Chamberlain. "The boys that score the goals usually get the headlines and rightly so, but I think there have been a lot of boys in the team who have been tremendous," he said.
"Hector Bellerin has come in this year and he’s been phenomenal for his first season and run of games in the first team. He’s been brilliant at such a young age as well. Laurent Koscielny
has been brilliant [too]."