Francis Coquelin believes his loan spells at Lorient and Freiburg helped him build on the education he received at Arsenal by forcing him to operate outside his comfort zone.
Eager for his compatriot to gain first team experience, Arsene Wenger sent the French midfielder to Ligue 1 in 2010/11 and onto the Bundesliga in 2013/14 before a short period at Charlton, in late 2014, prompted a renaissance that has seen Coquelin retain a first team place ever since.
Reflecting on his time away from the club, the 24-year-old outlined the importance of experiencing a different environment after spending his formative years in the Gunners Academy.
“It was a great learning experience, Arsenal is a great club – a massive club,” he told The Mirror. “But you are kind of in a comfort zone as it is such a big club, you have all the facilities.
“To go away, go abroad and see a different culture and different football helped me a lot and I came back stronger.
“I always had belief in myself, I didn’t think it would happen that quickly as I was on loan quite a few times but when I went back I always had my belief.
“When the manager gave me my chance I grabbed it with both hands and just did the maximum I could to help the team.”
Coquelin also reserved praise for Arsene Wenger, a manager who has built his career on giving young players the chance to prove themselves at the highest level.
“He’s a great manager. He’s won everything and he always goes for younger players which is why I came here. He’s not scared to play younger players.
“It’s massive when you know the manager has your back and confidence in you. It’s a big thing and every time I play I want to give something back to him because he gave me my chance.
“Now I want to do really well for Arsenal.”