Arsene Wenger confirmed after the latest 0-0 with Chelsea that the Francis Coquelin move to Valencia is a done deal. He is the first, although possibly not the last, Gunner to leave the club in January 2018.
Francis Coquelin Move to Valencia Completed
The French midfielder was signed from home-town club Stade Lavallois in July 2008 and made 159 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal. Sadly, before the Coquelin move to Valencia, the player never scored for the club, even once.
Coquelin, now 26, was renowned for his defensive capabilities, as well as fun-loving attitude. The Frenchman went out on loan on three separate occasions, first to Lorient, then Freiburg and finally Charlton Athletic in 2014.
He got recalled from his final loan as an emergency backup during (another) injury crisis. While the midfielder’s role in north London was peripheral this campaign, he will likely be best remembered for partnering Santi Cazorla in the center of the park.
The duo was instrumental in securing a win at the Etihad Stadium in January 2015, beating the defending champions 2-0.
As Francis Coquelin completes his move to Valencia, which Sky Sports reports at $16 million (£12 million), Gooners everywhere will be thankful for his time at the club.
Just who can come in and replace the club’s only defensive midfielder? Mohamed Elneny would be the most obvious. He is already at the club and works very hard off the ball. However, the Egyptian just doesn’t have the same tackling abilities as the Frenchman.
With Coquelin leaving Arsenal, this makes a move for a strong presence in the center of the park all the more urgent. But, and this is a big but, will the club make a move? With Arsene Wenger still at the club, the answer would be a no.
However, if the boss were to move this summer, could a deal get done? Stay tuned, Gooners.
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