Eibar vs Valencia CF

Dec, 15 / 20:45 Matchday 16

Actualidad del Valencia C.F.
January, 11 2018

Coquelin beat his new teammates Rodrigo and Montoya in the 2009 U19's Euro final

The French midfielder lifted the U19's Euro trophy in 2009 against a Spain side led by Rodrigo and Montoya

Valencia CF’s latest signing Francis Coquelin started off his football career at AS Bourny, a small club from his hometown, where he played at until the age of 13, before he joined Stade Lavallois Mayenne FC. At 16 years of age he started to catch the eye and the France U17’s head coach wanted to see him in action ahead of the Elite Round of the 2007 Eurocup. One good performance was enough to convince him to go to the European Championship in Israel, but unfortunately an injury ruled him out of the competition. A few weeks later, he received a call from Arsenal and he headed for London in 2008.

Leaving France was not an easy decision for him, but a conversation with Wenger won him round. He won the FA Youth Cup and the Premier Academy League with the Arsenal Reserves in 2009 and then broke into the first team despite not enjoying much game time. For that reason he was sent out to Lorient in the 2010/11 season, in an attempt to get some minutes and keep improving.

Coquelin became a regular in the French youth ranks and he managed to lift the U19’s Euro in 2010, beating Spain by 2-1 where both Martín Montoya and Rodrigo were in the squad. Coquelin was named in the star XI of the whole tournament.

He played the U21’s World Cup in Colombia, where France finished in fourth place, after bowing out to Portugal in the semifinals by a 2-0 scoreline. The Frenchman went on to make 17 appearances for Arsenal the following season, 22 in the 2012/13 season, and this made it tough for him to hold his place down. As a result, he went on loan spells with SC Freiburg and Charlton Athletic, where he shone.

A Mikel Arteta ankle injury saw him return only a month into his final loan deal. He soon began to have a key role at Arsenal, and he was in fine form. The results just kept on coming with him involved, as Coquelin burst into challenges, broke up play, won the ball back and patrolled in front of his defence. He put the icing on the cake by winning the Community Shield in 2008 and the FA Cup in 2015 against Aston Villa. He would go on to win it again versus cross-town neighbours Chelsea in 2007.

Earlier this season, Coquelin enjoyed less game time, which led Valencia CF to restart past negotiations as the player himself has admitted. Now, he has got a new challenge ahead of him.