Valencia have completed the signing of Francis Coquelin from Arsenal in a deal worth around £12m ($16.2m). West Ham and Crystal Palace had also been linked with his services in recent days but the Frenchman has finally agreed to continue his career in La Liga by putting pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year deal.

Coquelin arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2008 from Stade Lavallois as a promising prospect for the future.

The 26-year-old midfielder failed to make the breakthrough into the first-team during his early seasons at Arsenal and was sent on loan to Freiburg and Charlton Athletic before being recalled from the Addicks in December 2014.

The Frenchman enjoyed an impressive second half of the 2014-2015 campaign but his playing time was restricted in subsequent seasons after the arrivals of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny.

Coquelin had been tipped to leave The Emirates Stadium during the current transfer window after starting only one Premier League game during the opening half of the season

West Ham and Crystal Palace were said to be ready to offer him a new challenge in the Premier League but reports in Spain over the weekend revealed that the London clubs faced big competition from Valencia after Los Che had tried to sign him in the summer.

The Mirror later added that the La Liga side had launched a £12m offer to sign him and on Wednesday [10 January] night Wenger confirmed that Arsenal were ready to let him go to the La Liga side.

Valencia have now confirmed an agreement which surprisingly included an stunning release clause worth €80m (£71.2m).

"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," the club confirmed.

Coquelin becomes Valencia's second signing of the January transfer window following the previous arrival of Luciano Vietto on loan from Atletico Madrid.

Meanwhile, he is the first player to leave Arsenal during the current January transfer window with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Theo Walcott tipped to follow in his footsteps in the coming weeks.

Francis Coquelin
Coquelin had only started one Premier League during the opening half of the season. Getty