Francis Coquelin says he needed to leave Arsenal this year and the midfielder has explained why.
The defensive midfielder left the club in a £12m deal to Valencia last month and penned a four-and-a-half year contract. He’s made four starts for Valencia who sit 3rd in La Liga
Following his transfer, that includes a huge €80m release clause, Coquelin believes he had to move on last month as he needed a new challenge in his career.
“It isn’t that easy when you’ve spent 10 years somewhere, but I needed a new challenge,” the midfielder told Spanish outlet Clicanoo.
“You tend to get into a comfort zone when you stay several years in the same clubs.
“You try and challenge yourself, but it’s a bit harder.
“Here, I’m starting from scratch.
“It’s a new experience, a new training method, new teammates and a new environment.
“All that means I was thrilled by the project.
Coquelin made his big break into the Arsenal team in surprising circumstances. A depleted midfield forced Arsene Wenger to recall the midfielder from a loan spell at Charlton in 2015.
Coquelin made an instant impact and quickly established himself as a regular in the Gunners side. However, injuries and inconsistent form followed and the Frenchman lost his place to Granit Xhaka last season.