Coquelin explains his decision to leave Arsenal for Valencia

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Francis Coquelin yesterday signed for Valencia for £12m, having spent almost a decade at Arsenal.

His time at the club had plenty of ups and downs, but in recent seasons he’d established himself as a first team player, and made the most of the opportunity given to him when he was recalled from a loan spell at Charlton because of an injury crisis.

However, this season he’s been very much on the fringes, and when the chance to play more regular football presented itself, he wanted to take it.

“I spent some great years at Arsenal,” he said. “They’re the club that launched my career, I’ll never forget that. It’s difficult to leave.

“I was playing games, yes, but not necessarily those that counted. I needed to grow still more.

“I’m in an important period in my career. I wasn’t playing much at Arsenal, and I wanted to see something different, to experience another story.

“I have chosen a club with a great past, a family club. And I immediately felt good here.”

The midfielder looked back on his time with Gunners with pride, saying, “I played a lot of games.

“We won a cup, we finished in the top three several times. I can’t be disappointed with that.”

And he also revealed he spoke to Arsene Wenger about his move and discussions with the boss were respectful.

“We had a very healthy discussion together,” he said. “He’s someone I have a huge amount of respect for.

“I told him what I thought, him too, and he understood. The only thing is that I didn’t want to leave on loan, but really to start a new cycle.

“This is perfect.”

For more on Coquelin’s departure and other transfer business, check out today’s Arsecast

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Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Fine player when used to his potential and a great shame that it wouldn’t last. I don’t know where in Spain Valencia is but it must be better than here this time of year. He deserves it.

All the best!

Alphie
Alphie

That’s what we all feel that Wenger didn’t utilize him well whilst we looked shaky in the midfield set up.

I also like how he’s dealt with his exit with class. Frank. Honest. Just like his tackling.

May LA Liga revere our red and white patrol policeman.

Alittlebitsharpness
Alittlebitsharpness

Well that makes me sad. Really liked his agressivity, always seemed to play with this heart.

Jacob
Jacob

Agressivity…

Das boi
Das boi

Now we just need to sell Debuchy, Sánchez, and walcott. Then we need to sign some guys like seri, Malcom, Lemar, Dennis Suarez, or Draxler. Or none whatever works

Mc1892
Mc1892

Out of interest had you ever heard of Malcom until our supposed interest was reported?

Gearoid Kelly
Gearoid Kelly

Wasn’t Phillip Auclair giving him rave reviews on the Arsecast a few weeks ago? Or am I confusing him with someone else?

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

Auclair raves a lot about Fekir, can’t remember him talking about Malcom.

waitinaaaaa
waitinaaaaa

LoL. My thoughts too when I read the comment?

Das boi
Das boi

Yes! Id rather have Lemar tho if im honest

Hip hip hipster
Hip hip hipster

Devon Malcolm!

Pedant
Pedant

Hope this is a Coq down, not a Coq up.

Though also wish him all the best.

Coq au Vin
Coq au Vin

Time to change name.

Bon chance Francis!

Peter
Peter

Huge respect for him and for his decision. He wasn’t born with the biggest talent, but he played his heart out when he stepped on to the pitch. Best of luck, FC!

caligunner
caligunner

Good luck Coq

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

Classy goodbye!

Kami
Kami

Loved him. Will never forget his insane tackling technique.

Michael Young
Michael Young

Good luck Francis.

gooner
gooner

So Coq didn’t want to be loaned out and recalled.

I understand him completely. Coq hates short stints.

Zak
Zak

He made the right decision. Like many players at Arsenal currently, he flatlined and was not progressing. Valencia is a club with strong pedigree, even as it is not as strong now as previously.

VAgooner
VAgooner

they’re sitting above madrid in the table, even though madrid has a game in hand. they don’t look too shabby to me?

Cheesus
Cheesus

All the best Francis! He seems like a top professional. Shame he couldn’t record a goal at Arsenal. Looking forward to seeing him score in his first game at Valencia.

bystander
bystander

Coquelin’s new club won its most recent league titles in 2001-02 and 2003-04, and these days aspires only to European qualification and the odd cup. Just like his old club. It’s a fine club though, in a wonderful city, and now with an impressive manager. All the best to him.

JimtotheBeck
JimtotheBeck

Our Coq was solid when we needed him most.

Godspeed Coquelin.. I wish you all the best..

Negan
Negan

Lecoq~! I will always rmb this nickname that was given to him

punter
punter

good luck man. You gave a splendid one year playing with Cazorla. Unfortunately it wasn’t a season..rather a calendar year!

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Wishing you all the best at your new club, Le Coq.

ATG
ATG

Decent squad player gave his heart out there always! Good luck to him!

Mark
Mark

It’s a great opportunity for him to move to a league where the standard is much higher and all the teams actually try to play football, wish him all the best.

Jonah
Jonah

I can never feel aggrieved about a player wishing to leave to play regular football. I liked him and he seemed ideal to be our destroyer but I guess it didn’t pan out, although I can’t think of an alternative tackler in our midfield. Hope he has a lovely career.

EZD
EZD

Reading a little between the lines, it sounds like that it was Coq who proposed that he move (and Arsene agreed).

As ever, it seems our transfer policy is reactive. We can be brutal and move players who want to stay on, or keep hold of players who want to move but are on long term contracts. But did we really move Coq on, instead of Elneny, because we thought we needed Elneny more? And did we really want to lose an option at DM (since we won’t be replacing him).

A Different George
A Different George

Another post I don’t understand. What is our transfer policy “reactive” to? You say we sometimes keep players who want to leave which, I suppose, is reacting to the needs of the club, rather than the player’s preference. Do you object to that?

But in this case, it seems pretty clear the opposite is true. Given that he knew he would not start in the Prem, or at least not often, Coquelin wanted to leave, despite his new contract and high wages, and Wenger felt he could not stand in his way. Francis did what he thought best for his future, and we did the right thing to allow it. Exactly as we should have.

EZD
EZD

A Different George – I think you read my post to mean the opposite of what I meant (my post wasn’t very clear).

What I meant was that we should be keeping players if we need them, even if they ask to leave. We shouldn’t simply let which players ask to leave dictate who moves on – we should have more of a strategy/plan than that.

And personally, I don’t think that letting our only defensively minded midfielder leave without buying an upgrade (instead of selling Elneny) is a good plan. I suspect the reason we sold Coq instead of Elneny is just that Coq was the one to ask to leave.

Whilst Coq isn’t a regular starter in the league, i think he would have a useful role over the season (including cups). And we can sell him in the summer at the same price (when we will hopefully be doing some proper squad rebuilding) given the length of his contract.

A Different George
A Different George

I did partly misunderstand. But partly, I disagree, at least as far as Coquelin is concerned. Yes, we had a legal right to refuse to let Coquelin go even though we had no expectation that he would play a significant role–just in case we might need him. But we should not do so. I have no problem with preventing him from going to a rival, like Debuchy to Man United (though we let Oxlade-Chamberlain go to Liverpool). But players like Coquelin, who have done everything asked of them, deserve to be treated with consideration for their own needs. He will almost surely be paid less than at Arsenal; he just wants to play and be as good a football player as he can. We should let him.

Mpls
Mpls

Never any drama, never any fuss, always a dedicated hard worker, always a class act.

Lula
Lula

He has achieved much given that before his Arsenal rennaissance he was canon.fodder at Charlton. Valencia is a great club to go to and with proper coaching he could hold down a position there. Hope he does well, decent player and lots of character.

Big+Ticket
Big+Ticket

Once, just once, I wanted to see Le Coq score a goal……

jacccck
jacccck

Selling is not a problem, Wenger have not make a move for any players yet and we have already lost one, next will be either Sanchez or Ozil, I wonder if top 4 is still sure.???

Thesoulofpdavis
Thesoulofpdavis

I loved it when we played with our coq.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Still feel we shlould have kept him, move back to a back 4. buy another DM n play both of them in the middle of the park behind with jack in a midfield 3. Ram and ozil in AM and laca up top.