Interview

Francis Coquelin’s message to the Arsenal fans

Francis Coquelin

Francis Coquelin joined Valencia on Thursday, ending his nine-year stay with us.

The midfielder made 160 first-team appearances for us after arriving from French side Laval in 2008, and was also part of our victorious FA Youth Cup-winning side in 2009.

A European Under-19 Championship winner alongside Alexandre Lacazette, Francis was a regular in our first-team squad and an integral member of our 2015 and 2017 Emirates FA Cup-winning sides.

Soon after completing his transfer to Valencia, Francis rang the club requesting to leave on final message for the fans. Here’s the full transcript of what he said: 

on his message to the fans…
I just want to thank them because I was at the club for a very long time. I always showed passion for the club and they all saw that in me, so I want to thank them for their support.
 
on how much it meant to have the fans’ backing…
I understand what they feel - their love for the club, I understand that. I was at Arsenal for nine years and it was like a second family to me. I understand the frustration when the results are not going well. We had an honest relationship and the fans have always been amazing towards me. It’s been great.

Francis Coquelin celebrates our win over Bayern Munich

Francis Coquelin celebrates our win over Bayern Munich

on what Arsenal means to him…
Coming to Arsenal at such a young age, from a small club, it was a massive step for me. I would say that Arsenal raised me as a player, but also raised me as a man. I owe a lot to Arsenal, it has been nine years of my life and I will never forget it. But obviously I am moving on to a new challenge, a new club and my first impressions are very good so I am expecting another really good time.
 
on Arsene Wenger’s influence…
I owe him so much, he is the one who played me at this level. To play someone who comes from such a small club and give his trust as he did, I will always respect him as someone really important in my career. I am where I am today because of what he has done, and my work as well, but if your manager doesn’t play you, you cannot express yourself and he is the one who gave me that chance. I am really grateful for that and I wish him all the very best.

Francis Coquelin and Arsène Wenger

Francis Coquelin and Arsène Wenger

on who he will miss…
All my team-mates, from top to bottom, the players and the staff have been amazing. I respect a lot what Arsenal is all about and what it represents. I will miss everyone obviously, but I’m also looking forward to what happens where I am now.
 
on his highlights…
My first year was amazing, winning the FA Youth Cup in 2009, then coming back from my loan at Charlton I thought I wasn’t going to play for Arsenal, but I am happy I had the chance to show what I can do. I had a couple of great seasons starting very game. Winning the FA Cup [in 2015] was special.

Our class of '09 lift the FA Youth Cup

Our class of '09 lift the FA Youth Cup

on what it was like coming back from Charlton and then winning the Emirates FA Cup…
It was incredible. My loan at Charlton gave me a lot of confidence to come back with a lot of energy and I think you saw that in the first game I came back and played in. Obviously the win at Manchester City was huge and we went on to win a lot of games, finishing in the top three and winning the FA Cup, so it was an unbelievable six months. A year later we finished second, but we should have done more, we should have been at the end for the title, but to come back and do what I did was a special moment.
 
on whether he will keep an eye on Arsenal results.…
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 cannot forget about your club and Arsenal is always going to be in my heart, I will always follow them.

Francis Coquelin lifts the 2015 FA Cup

Francis Coquelin lifts the 2015 Emirates FA Cup

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