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Francis Coquelin names the one Arsenal player he still speaks to

Francis Coquelin has told The Telegraph that Arsenal have changed so much since his departure that Alexandre Lacazette is the only Gunners star he still speaks to.

Coquelin is a part of the Villarreal squad gearing up for the second-leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

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Of course, the game has additional significance for Coquelin. The midfielder spent a decade on Arsenal’s books, making 160 appearances for the club before leaving in 2018.

He only left the Gunners just over two years ago. But Coquelin outlined just how much is different compared with when he left the Emirates for Valencia.

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“There has been so much change at the club that a lot of people I was close to are no longer there,” he has told The Telegraph. “We [Coquelin and Lacazette] were team-mates in the national team at all levels. Now [I keep in touch] with no one else.”

Arsenal were always going to endure a period of transition following Arsene Wenger’s departure.

Whoever they brought in was likely to make a raft of changes. And with Unai Emery’s tenure not exactly going to plan, that transitional period has had to be extended into Mikel Arteta’s time in charge.

Unfortunately, it does appear that it may be some time before there is a little more consistency.

They do seem to have an exciting group of young players coming through once again. The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli could potentially form the core of an outstanding Arsenal side for years to come.

But right now, they certainly remain a work in progress.

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