Francis Coquelin has opened up about the recent loss of his grandmother, saying that he lost a ‘big piece of his heart’.
The midfielder missed two Arsenal games to be with his family after his gran passed and to attend her funeral.
Now, speaking with the S*n, Francis has spoken about how much she meant to him.
“It’s been a difficult couple of months to see her health go down,” Coquelin said. “For everything she has done for me in my life, she was a second mum to me.
“I was losing a big piece of my heart.
“Even talking now about her like this is weird because just a few weeks ago I was eating a meal with her back in France.
“This shows how quickly things can happen in life. She was so important to me and it’s a massive loss to me.
“It is all the small things that you remember. She used to take me to school, she would take me to football, she’d do everything.
“Even now, when I walk about, there are small details that remind me of her. If I eat something, I’ll remember her because she cooked that particular dish for me.
“I watched a movie the other day — and it reminded me of her.
“I was in France last week to visit her grave and it’s difficult now because she cannot answer me. But I feel as though I’m still in contact and can talk to her.”
It’s not clear yet if Coquelin will return to the centre of Arsenal’s midfield for the game against Manchester City at Wembley. Arsene Wenger likes to play the Frenchman against bigger teams, despite his struggles.
“I found out about her death just one day before we played Manchester City in the Premier League,” he added.
“It was a special game for me. I wanted to win it for her but was happy in my head that we didn’t lose, we got a point.
“I didn’t want to lose and then go back to France for the funeral. She will be with me at Wembley!”