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Coquelin felt he was in a war zone in first Arsenal training session

Francis Coquelin has described his very first Arsenal training experience as going to war.


The French midfielder had a week-long trial with the Gunners when he was a 16-year-old and recalls the initial session which he admits caught him off guard.

Coquelin had France U17 duties following his first spell with the North London club and admits he was unsure of accepting a deal due to the nature of the training sessions.

"When I left Arsenal I wasn't sure whether I would come back," he told the Arsenal Magazine.

"I remember my first training session with the first team and it was war.

"I said to the boss at the door when I left, 'This is different!'

"I remember seeing two players fighting in training, and I had an argument with Jens Lehmann as well and I was thinking, 'Wow, where am I?'

"Two weeks later we had the European Under-17 Championship and I was more worried about whether I would be alright to play in that [than whether I would get a deal]."

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