Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin admits he was close to exit in 2014

The midfielder says he considered leaving the club in the summer transfer window before breaking into the side last season.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has admitted he seriously considered leaving the club in the summer of 2014.

The Frenchman was struggling for game time at that point in his Gunners career, despite having starred for the youth sides in a number of different roles.

However, two loan spells at French side Lorient and then German side Freiburg failed to convince manager Arsene Wenger that he was worthy of a place in his startingXI.

And he admits that he contemplated moving to pastures new, with his chances of breaking through looking to be slim at best.

“It crossed my mind to leave in last year’s transfer window,” he told

“But I didn’t want to leave just to leave – if I was going to go I wanted it to be for a good thing and it didn’t come,” he says. After three or four months I said I wanted to go on loan and he said it was a good idea so I went to Charlton.”

A loan spell at Charlton Athletic proved to be the turning point for the 24-year-old, as he went on to thrive in the Championship.

It would be a short lived stint in the second tier, though, as an injury crisis left Wenger short on numbers and forced him to recall Coquelin to help out.

In the end, he was offered the opportunity to impress against West Ham, and did just that, making the defensive midfield role his own and becoming a vital part of the Arsenal side ever since.

There is now talk of a potential call up to France’s squad for Euro 2016, but Coquelin insists his focus is locked on doing well with his club side, as they look to challenge for the Premier League title.

“For the future, I’m definitely making my targets smaller than making Euro 2016. Everyone is talking about it, and obviously it is a massive thing but I’m focused on Arsenal,” he added.

“We have a great squad but there are still a few people doubting us and I’m focused on clearing these doubts. I hope we can do something special this season.”

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch