Francis Coquelin: 'I almost regret not leaving Arsenal sooner'

Coquelin: 'I should have left Arsenal sooner'
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Francis Coquelin admits that he 'almost regrets' not leaving Arsenal sooner after completing a January move to La Liga side Valencia.

Francis Coquelin has admitted that he "almost regrets" not leaving Arsenal sooner after sealing a move to Valencia on Thursday.

The 26-year-old, who joined the Gunners as a youth player in 2008, has signed a contract with the La Liga giants until 2022.

Coquelin was on Valencia's radar in the summer, but the Frenchman opted to stay at the Emirates Stadium to fight for a first-team place.

The gamble did not lead to more game time for the midfielder, however, with just one Premier League start and a total of 155 minutes of top-flight football under his belt.

"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 told a press conference called to present him as a Valencia player. "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, who signed a new deal at Arsenal a year ago, has made 105 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.

Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin in action during the Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 19, 2016
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