Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin has completed his move to Valencia CF. The two clubs agreed a £12 million deal on Wednesday, according to Sky Sports.
Francis Coquelin Leaves Arsenal for Valencia
Coquelin had been in the ranks at Arsenal since 2008, including several loan spells. Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton Athletic have all benefitted from the Gunners’ desire for their midfielder to gain experience.
For the North-London club, he made a total of 104 appearances, during which he failed to score a single goal. A midfielder who gives thought primarily to defensive duties, Coquelin is a very physical player. As such, he seemed ideally suited for playing in England, but the lack of goal-threat in him is a serious handicap for the Frenchman. Granit Xhaka, a player of similar mould but with a better eye for passing and a powerful shot, found the task of getting ahead of Coquelin in the pecking order not to be too hard. The return of Jack Wilshere and the presence of Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey also made his life difficult.
Coquelin started just seven games for Arsenal in all competitions this season, not enough to see him prolong his stay.
Now, Arsene Wenger has found that he can dispense with Coquelin’s services for a fee that seems very low, given the current state of the market. At the age of 26, he has a lot of time ahead to serve another manager and another team.
He leaves Arsenal with two FA Cups and a Community Shield to his name.
Having rejected the interests of West Ham United and Crystal Palace, Coquelin has decided to head to Spain. Apart from seeking new challenges, it should enable him to develop the technical side of his game, a quality he’s often been found to lack.
However, there can be little doubt that Valencia are getting a very good player for a very good price.