It seems that Arsene Wenger is reportedly ready to get rid of his unwanted stock to raise funds for future transfers at the club. And the Gunners have confirmed that Coquelin has finally moved to La Liga outfit Valencia for a fee of £12m after signing a four-year deal. On Wednesday night, Wenger announced the transfer for Coquelin stating that he would be on the verge of leaving the club.
“He goes to Valencia. Because he didn’t get enough games with us this season and he had an opportunity and I let him go.” Said the French boss.
Having spent close to 10 years at the club Coquelin never really managed to cement his place in Arsene Wenger’s first team. Although he did have a great run in 2015 when Arsenal recalled him from loan to cover up for an injury-hit squad. Despite forming a notable partnership alongside Santi Cazorla in midfield, Coquelin always had too much competition for his spot as Wenger’s obsession with midfielders continued.
Since Granit Xhaka’s arrival at the Emirates in the summer of 2016, Wenger has been keen on using the Swiss midfielder rather than Coquelin. The French midfielder then got very few opportunities to play with Jack Wilshere getting back to fitness and playing at a higher level.
Coquelin made 105 Premier League appearances for Arsenal since making his debut in 2008, but was sent out on season-long loans with Lorient, Freiburg and eventually Charlton Athletic. But the 26-year-old only made one Premier League appearance this season and the strange fact was that he never scored a career goal for the North Londoners.
Any player would be naturally frustrated at not getting enough game-time but it seemed like the most viable option for the player and club to make.
However, Coquelin seemed keen on his move to Valencia and was looking forward to his new club. The defensive midfielder stated, “This summer there was an interest, but I only had to play for Arsenal and doing things well in my mind. Now that Valencia remained interested in me, I regret not coming sooner.”
“[Arsenal midfielder] Santi Cazorla told me that Valencia is an excellent club that I wouldn’t regret coming and that Marcelino is a great person and a great coach. I respect and trust Cazorla’s word a lot, and it was a plus point for me deciding to sign for Valencia.”
Coquelin’s exit from the Emirates would signify that English midfielder Jack Wilshere could be a mainstay at the club and be part of Wenger’s plans for the future. Wilshere, who seems to have rekindled his trust in Wenger, may be set to sign a contract extension soon as his Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season.
But a move for Coquelin seemed imminent as he was not in contention to play in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea during the mid-week and was not even named in the match-day squad for the trip to Nottingham Forest, where Arsenal was knocked out of the FA Cup. Most probably Wenger could use these funds to purchase quality players in the January transfer window or in the summer.