On the 11th January 2018, Arsenal announced that Francis Coquelin, who is valued at £13.5 million (by Transfermarkt), had been sold to Valencia for a reported fee of £12 million.
The Frenchman, who came through the club’s youth academy, spent 10 years in north London where Coquelin went from a forgotten figure at the club to fan favourite in the span of a few months.
An uninspiring few years at the club only saw Coquelin feature sporadically under Arsene Wenger from his arrival to 2014. A handful of starts and substitute appearances was all the midfielder was subject at Arsenal, with loan spells at Lorient and Freiburg not doing much to increase his chances of first-team football.
It wasn’t until an injury crisis in the festive period in the 2014/15 season when Coquelin burst onto the scene at Arsenal. Being recalled from Charlton and immediately being put in the Gunners squad.
His first start in nearly two years in the league came in a 2-1 win against West Ham, and from there Coquelin never looked back. Excellent performances against Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea made the defensive midfielder a quick fan favourite as Coquelin proved to be a short-term answer to Arsenal’s hard-man midfielder problem.
His half-season heroics in 2014/15, in which he started Arsenal’s 4-0 FA Cup final win, was sadly to be Coquelin’s highest moment in a red and white kit.
An injury-ridden second season saw the Frenchman dip in and out of the Arsenal first-team, and his form suffered because of it, and in January of 2018, Coquelin was sold to Valencia after three years in the Gunners first-team.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the news…
Always played with passion. Good luck Francis pic.twitter.com/hNYNAT0Zx9
— P™ (@Cechque) January 11, 2018
all the best Francis, thanks for everything pic.twitter.com/l9QcQ4vWzl
— (@_hfafc) January 11, 2018
1. Saving our 14/15 season after having his Charlton loan cut short.
2. Celebrating goals like he scored himself (despite never scoring himself).
3. Making pummeling, but well-timed, tackles (that no other player in our squad is capable of).
Some fans need to show more respect.
— Rob Hull (@robhull83) January 11, 2018
I’m genuinely devastated.
— Pain In The Arsenal (@PainInThArsenal) January 11, 2018
Partnership with Santi was phenomenal
— Lukáš Rim (@ScottLiveAtWork) January 11, 2018
Wish him all the best… It’s a move HE needed badly… I will be so happy if (when) he comes good cos he is STILL a good footballer… No matter what…
— Soccer Chatterbox (@SoccerChattabox) January 11, 2018
I’m extremely sad he has left. All the best Coquelin
— Jay Njoroge (@Jay2em) January 11, 2018
It’s a shame we never got to see how he would celebrate if he scored himself.
— Laura AFC Dale (@LauraDale11) January 11, 2018
Since making the move to Spain, Coquelin has been a solid squad member for Valencia. A starter whenever he is fit, the 27-year-old midfielder has proven to be a versatile player for the La Liga side, playing out on the wing as well as primarily playing in the centre of midfield.
Coquelin and Valencia this season are currently 6th in the table and still in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Arsenal fans, what was your favourite Coquelin memory? Let us know!
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