By support

9th Sep, 2016 | 8:35pm

Francis Coquelin relishes the competiton for Arsenal first-team place

By Amir Mir

Francis Coquelin believes there will be “interesting competition” for first-team places, as the Arsenal midfielder hailed the signing of Granit Xhaka.

Defensive-midfielder Coquelin believes £30 summer signing Xhaka is a worthy addition to the Gunners, but they will now vie for a first-team spot this season.

Arsene Wenger has six midfielders to choose from in his starting XI, with five having to go into two deep lying playmaker roles.

Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Mohammed Elneny, Coquelin and Xhaka are competing for the two spots behind playmaker Mesut Ozil.

Despite Wenger adding more competition and strength to his midfield, Coquelin can only see the positive.

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“There is loads of competition [for places], but I think that’s a good thing,” Coquelin told the club’s official website.

“Obviously we are Arsenal, so we expect competition and a player comes in every year, so it is a great addition.

“Granit came this year, and I think he is a great addition to the squad.

“Mohamed came in January, and I think he has done well. No one really knew him before he came here, but he has shown how good he is. It is going to be an interesting competition in the middle.”

Coquelin was dropped to the bench in Wenger’s last game, with Xhaka and Cazorla combining together in the middle of the park to help Arsenal to their first win of the season.

The Gunners host Southampton at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, as they look to avenge the side that put four goals past them in their previous encounter.

In other Arsenal team news, watch as Alex Iwobi teaches the club’s summer signing some hilarious London slang.