an ex-Hake in the LdC semi-finals

A real surprise in the last four of the Champions League, Villarreal challenges the immense Liverpool on Wednesday. And in its ranks, the Spanish club has Francis Coquelin, revealed in Lorient between 2010 and 2011.

Drawing : "FC Lorient: an ex-Hake in the LdC semi-finals"

© Villarreal official website

Holy fate, right? From FC Lorient to a Champions League semi-final, he has come a long way. This Wednesday evening, Francis Coquelin will try to resist the onslaught of Mohamed Salah and his friends at Anfield. The one who spent a short year in Brittany can already savor everything that happens to him. his whole career, the 30-year-old midfielder has had to fight to make a name for himself in Spain.

Very promising from an early age, Francis Coquelin signed a first professional contract with Arsenal in 2008. Blocked by tough London competition, it will be loaned two years after his arrival at FC Lorient.

There, the midfielder born in Laval will accumulate the minutes of play in Ligue 1 under the orders of Christian Gourcuff. With 25 games played, he will even score his first goal with the pros (on the lawn of Stade Rennais (1-2)). Enough to win the hearts of Lorient supporters and relaunch his young career.

A successful stint in Brittany allowing him to return from the other side of the Channel and extend the adventure with the Gunners. Before going back on loan to Friborg and Charlton in the Championship. Then to return to Arsenal to compensate for injuries between 2014 and 2018.

But it is in Spain that Francis Coquelin will find stability. First in Valencia, then in Villarreal where the Frenchman will win the Europa League in his first season against Manchester United with competition specialist Unai Emery.

This evening, the ex-Merlu should be aligned on the left flank of the Spanish midfield. A surprise guest in the semi-finals of the Champions League, his club successively eliminated Juventus Turin and Bayern Munich. Just that.

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