Arsenal’s never-ending injury woes have been increased with the news that Santi Cazorla has been ruled out for at least three months with a knee problem, according to The Guardian.
The Spaniard suffered ligament damage in a second-half challenge with Gary O’Neil in Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Norwich City, although he completed the 90 minutes.
Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny also picked up injuries at Carrow Road, but it seems that Cazorla has come off the worst with Arsenal fearing him sidelined until March, The Guardian adds.
Francis Coquelin has started 12 of Arsenal’s 14 league games alongside Cazorla but faces a similarly lengthy layoff, as BBC Sport reports, meaning that Arsene Wenger needs a new midfield partnership.
The Frenchman opted not to invest in a holding midfielder in the summer and is therefore short of alternatives, especially with club captain Mikel Arteta already on a nine-strong injury list.
Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are long-term absentees. Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are not yet fit but could be available to play Sunderland on Saturday according to The Guardian.
Aaron Ramsey, who has only recently returned from a month out himself, and veteran Mathieu Flamini could be Arsenal’s midfield pairing for the festive period in which they play seven times in 28 days.
Wenger also appears to be preparing Calum Chambers to deputise in the centre of the park with practice in Arsenal’s Under-21 side, according to the Daily Mail. The 20-year-old cannot get a game in defence.
But Cazorla will be sorely missed. While he may have been overawed in games against the top sides, the 30-year-old’s guile and passing was key to the Gunners knocking off lower-ranked teams at will.
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