Date: 12th January 2018 at 7:40am
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Francis Coquelin says he “almost regrets” not leaving Arsenal sooner after finalising his £12m move to Valencia.

The midfielder fell down the pecking order at the Emirates this season and became frustrated with lack of game time.

After signing for Arsenal in 2008 and becoming a product of the Gunners youth setup, Coquelin experienced several loan spells before finally becoming a regular for the Gunners in 2015.

The Frenchman went on to make over 20 appearances in the league in three consecutive seasons.

He was linked with moves away last summer, however, Coquelin decided to fight for his place and remain at the Emirates.

A decision he says he may have been the wrong one.

“It’s true that there was interest in the summer but in my head I wanted to continue at Arsenal and do well there,” Coquelin said (via Goal). “It wasn’t to be and now this opportunity has come up.

“I almost regret not having come before. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for me and I’m very grateful. It’s a big challenge, and a new start in my life for me, which I’m very excited about.”

Coquelin has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Valencia who are having a fine season in La Liga. The Spanish outfit are currently third, five points better off than La Liga giants Real Madrid.