Valencia have signed Francis Coquelin on a permanent deal. The Frenchman leaves Arsenal after almost 10 years with the club.

Coquelin will move to La Liga for a transfer fee of around £10m. He signed a four-and-a-half year contract with the Spanish club for a permanent transfer this week, after agreeing personal terms.

Initially, there were reports that the 26-year-old could go to West Ham. But the chance to play for a top side vying for a Champions League place was seemingly too good to turn down.

Coquelin follows Gabriel Paulista in switching North London for Valencia, after the Brazilian moved this summer.

“Valencia CF have agreed a deal this Thursday with Arsenal regarding the transfer of Francis Coquelin, who will wear the black and white colours of the club during a deal that will run until June 30th 2022, with a buy-out clause of 80 million euros,” said the club’s statement.

The defensive midfielder joined Arsenal as a youth player back in 2008. For a number of years he struggled to find a consistent place in the team, and went on loans to Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton Athletic.

After an emergency loan recall in 2014/15, he finally broke into the starting eleven with the Gunners. He formed an impressive midfield partnership alongside Santi Cazorla that campaign.

Unfortunately, Cazorla’s injury problems and Arsenal’s formation changes meant Coquelin’s skill set wasn’t what the team needed any more. But now he’s found a move to a top European club, so hopefully all parties can happily move on.

Good luck, Francis!