Alexandre Lacazette: 'Francis Coquelin persuaded me to join Arsenal'

Lacazette: 'Coquelin persuaded me to join'
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Arsenal's record signing Alexandre Lacazette insists that it became "increasingly likely" that he would join the club after his move to Atletico Madrid collapsed.

Alexandre Lacazette has revealed that former international teammate Francis Coquelin helped convince him to seal his record-breaking switch to Arsenal.

The 26-year-old became the Gunners' most expensive ever recruit when joining for £52m on Wednesday afternoon, bringing an end to his prolific spell with Lyon that saw him net 129 times in 275 appearances.

Lacazette made no secret of his desire to join Atletico Madrid earlier in the window, only for the Spanish club to see their transfer ban upheld, but he has been told that he will not regret linking up with former France Under-19s teammate Coquelin at Arsenal.

"Francis and I kept in touch," the London Evening Standard quotes him as saying. "We've had a lot of contact over the last few years and even more over the last few weeks, of course, since it became increasingly likely that I would come to Arsenal.

"He has said only good things about Arsenal, which is not surprising because he wanted me to join the club. Even without that I still really wanted to come here.

"He stressed that it was a great club located in a fantastic city. He said I would not regret my decision to move here because of the people I'd be working with and, of course, the fans."

Lacazette and Coquelin won the European Under-19 Championship together for Les Bleus in 2010.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the Premier League match against Southampton on May 10, 2017
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