Francis Coquelin explains why he jumped ship at Valencia for rivals Villarreal

Former Arsenal star Francis Coquelin has revealed why he left Valencia for rivals Villarreal.

Coquelin has now been in La Liga for more than three years, and it has been a pretty successful time for the midfielder.

He spent two years with Valencia, winning the Copa del Rey with the club, and after leaving for local rivals Villarreal last year, he won the the Europa League.

It was a controversial decision for Coquelin to join Dani Parejo in jumping ship at Valencia for the rival down the road, but it’s one he felt he had to make.

In an interview with Marca, Coquelin has now provided some thoughts on the situation, explaining his reasoning for the move.

“I came to Spain from an important club in Arsenal to join another important club,” he said.

“I wanted a beautiful project and one with ambition, and Valencia, with Marcelino, offered me that.

“Of course, after 12 years without a title, we won the Copa del Rey and I enjoyed it a lot.

“When I decided to leave Valencia for Villarreal, it was because they offered a beautiful projects.

“In my career, I have always looked ambitious projects and one with sporting aspiration, and Villarreal also gave me that.

“I came here for that reason, and seeing everything that was happening in Valencia, it was very clear in my head that going to Villarreal was my best option.”

Coquelin found regular appearances a little hard to come by in his first season at Villarreal.

But this season, he has become one of the first choice midfielders under Unai Emery, and he will be looking to keep his starting spot as Villarreal look to turn their poor start around in La Liga and progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Tags Francis Coquelin Valencia Villarreal