Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin joins Valencia

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Francis Coquelin has swapped Arsenal for Valencia.

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The combative midfielder arrived in England in 2008 after catching Arsene Wenger‘s eye at Laval as a teenager, but after a decade at Arsenal he has signed for La Liga side Valencia.

It is believed Arsenal agreed a fee of $16.2 million for the French midfielder who spent spells on loan at Charlton Athletic, Lorient and Freiburg during his time in north London.

Per the official release from Valencia, Coquelin has signed a contract until the summer of 2022 and has a release clause of $96 million.

Coquelin, 26, has become a cult hero at Arsenal over the past few years as his tough tackling displays in midfield helped the Gunners to win the FA Cup in 2015 and 2017 and his steely determination was lauded by fans.

However this season he has made just seven appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League and will be joining a Valencia side battling for the La Liga title as they sit 11 points behind leaders Barcelona but well in the hunt for a return to the UEFA Champions League.

Coquelin’s departure is yet another indication that central midfielder Jack Wilshere will extend his stay at Arsenal beyond this summer as his current contract runs out on July 1.

Apart from Wilshere, the Gunners have a plethora of midfield options with Granit Xhaka, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey plus emerging talents Ainsley-Matiland Niles and Krystian Bielik coming through.

This deal works out well for everyone at Coquelin has certainly improved massively since 2015 when he was given a run in the first team after a successful loan spell at Charlton.