Coquelin: I should have left Arsenal sooner

Coquelin flies in on Marcus Rashford

The Frenchman, who signed a new deal with the Premier League club just past year, has now inked a contract with the Spanish side that runs through 2022.

Coquelin has completed a £10m move to La Liga side Valencia, ending his 10-year Arsenal career. It's hard to leave.

"I'm in an important period in my career".

"I understand what they feel - their love for the club, I understand that".

Having been left out of Arsenal's team for Wednesday's League Cup semi-final first leg draw at Chelsea, Wenger confirmed Coquelin will move to Spain. "He's someone I have a huge amount of respect for. It's a big challenge, and a new start in my life for me, which I'm very excited about". "He had an opportunity and I let him go".

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"Honestly, no. I would have had if, in 2014, I had left when I was out of contract", he added.

"Something clicked then, I played a lot of matches, and we won a cup and finished in the podium [top three] several times".

"I will obviously still follow the club and I am at a big club now, Valencia is a big club and the expectation is here as well, but after nine years you can not forget about your club and Arsenal is always going to be in my heart, I will always follow them".

Coquelin will now hope to earn himself a place in a Valencia team that - in third place, two points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid and five clear of faltering Real Madrid - have been impressing in the Spanish top flight this season.

"Coming to Arsenal at such a young age, from a small club, it was a massive step for me. I am really grateful for that and I wish him all the very best". "I have to get myself up to that standard".

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