Wenger confirms possibility of Francis Coquelin exit

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Francis Coquelin could leave the club during the January transfer window.

The midfielder started life as a Gunner a decade ago moving to the club’s Academy from French side Stade Lavallois. He made his first team debut in the League Cup in 2008 and won the FA Youth Cup in 2009 before embarking on a season-long loan deal with Lorient.

On his return to Arsenal, Coquelin played 62 minutes of the humiliating 8-2 defeat to Manchester United. He managed to put that experience behind him and slowly began building a career at the Emirates making 40 appearances or so up to the summer of 2013.

A second season-long loan spell, this time with Freiburg in Germany, looked to be the end of his time as a Gunner, especially as he didn’t play on his return to London.

After three months of the 2013/14 season he was sent to Charlton Athletic before being recalled by Arsene Wenger during a midfield injury crisis and establishing himself as a firs team pick.

However, this season he has played just 156 minutes of Premier League football, with the manager saying he’d been a victim of the formation change, and it seems a transfer to another club is on the cards.

“It’s a possibility but nothing is decided,” he said.

Asked if the links suggesting he could move to West Ham were true, he continued, “No, we have no contact with West Ham.”

It seems more probable that the very concrete interest from Valencia, who have been negotaating with Arsenal for some weeks now, is the most likely destination for the Frenchman.

It’d be a very decent move for him, a chance to hook up with his old teammate Gabriel, play in a top league, and live in a beautiful city with great weather.

If the choice is between that or having to work with David Moyes and Andy Carroll every day, it’s a no-brainer.

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