Francis Coquelin has undergone surgery on an Achilles’ problem that will keep him sidelined for around two months, just the latest issue he’s had since leaving Arsenal.
The former Arsenal midfielder has not played since 20 November, when he faced Celta Vigo.
After waiting for the injury to heal, without success, the decision was taken to undergo surgery to correct the problem.
Although no official timeframe has been put on his recovery, he is expected to return in around two months’ time.
This is not the first problem Coquelin, now 30, has had since he left Arsenal.
Hamstring problems, ankle issues and numerous other muscular injuries have cost him 51 games, including the 15 he lost when his Achilles’ ruptured in 2018.
That would have been much higher had his recovery also not taken in the summer that year.
Villarreal are hopeful that surgery will put an end to those problems, at least.
The French midfielder joined Arsenal from Stade Lavallois in 2008. He left Arsenal for Valencia in 2018 for £12m.
In total, he made 160 appearances for Arsenal.
Coquelin wore the number 34 shirt for Arsenal.
Francis Coquelin: Leaving Arsenal took me out of my comfort zone and I improved a lot.
Francis Coquelin says moving from Arsenal to Valencia took him out of his comfort zone, but he feels he’s improved a lot since leaving.
Coquelin left Arsenal in January 2018, joining Valencia on a permanent deal after falling out of favour in North London.
The midfielder didn’t have an entirely smooth transition to Spain, rupturing his Achilles tendon in his first few months, but he bounced back to become a crucial part of the team.
Speaking to the Spanish media, Coquelin admitted the first injury changed his outlook on football, and he enjoys it more now.
“I see football differently,” Coquelin told AS.
“It was my first serious injury and now every minute I am in the field I enjoy it more. When a player is away for so long, he is not happy.
“They were months of hard work, but I have my reward, because I returned with a good level (of performance). I signed for Valencia to play the Champions League and win titles.”
As for leaving Arsenal, Coquelin responded to a question about whether it cost him to leave his comfort zone in North London.
“It didn’t cost me, although it’s true that it was my comfort zone,” the former Gunner responded.
“When I arrived in Spain, I didn’t speak any Spanish. But I came here with all my family. I made the decision and I hope I spend many years here.
“In Arsenal, I had a different role. Here in Valencia, I can do more things with the ball. In that area, I have improved a lot here.”