Arsenal invincible Gilberto Silva has claimed that Francis Coquelin is the best midfielder in the Premier League while offering glowing praise for a young player who is growing into a role that Silva himself excelled at.

Nicknamed the ‘Invisible Wall’ few were better at the midfield screening role as the 93-cap Samba legend who partnered Patrick Vieira in a formidable Arsenal engine room in a trophy-laden era.

Silva, speaking exclusively to insists Coquelin is a worthy successor who will be crucial for the Gunners in their title run-in.

“He is improving game by game and from last season to this one he is much better. He is getting to know his position well and that’s important because his role is to allow those up front to play while protecting the back four. He will be very important for Arsenal in the final third of the season.”

 “He is a young player and what he has done for Arsenal in the short time he’s been playing has been great. When I was at Arsenal I was older, with more experience and big guys around me. He is proving himself over and over and I hope he is at Arsenal for a long period because for any team to have a player who is willing to do the hard job then it makes it harder for the opposition to pass through your defence.”

Read the full 888sport interview with Gilberto Silva here, including how he thinks Vieira could return to Arsenal.