For the second season in a row, Arsenal have lost their super-influential midfielder Santi Cazorla to a long term injury, and there is little sign of him returning any time in the near future, despite his Achilles operation judged to be a success. The little Spaniard had only played 8 League games in this campaign before his injury, and Arsene Wenger doesn’t sound very confident on any return date. At 32 years of age his recovery was always going to be difficult.
Wenger said yesterday: “At the moment, he is far [from returning]. It’s not going as quickly as I imagined it, so certainly in January he will not come back.”
The media then suggested that perhaps it could be another three months? “It could be a bit longer. At the moment I don’t really know, but I just have a schedule that he is not planned at the moment to go outside and run. I think once a player goes outside and runs without any problems, you come six weeks. At the moment he has not been out so that’s why I say in January he will certainly not play.”
Santi has been one of our best midfielders for many years, and Wenger admitted that his absence was very frustrating. “It is because he’s such a great player and as well because he has started the season in such a tremendous way.” Wenger continued. “He was the dominating player in our squad at the start of the season and we suddenly lost him.”
We were all hoping he would come back in January, especially as we knew that Mohamed Elneny would be going off to the African Cup of Nations, but instead we are now in a precarious position in midfield as Francis Coquelin is also out again with a hamstring injury, after having already missed one month of the season previously.
This means that the only recognised central midfielders we will have for January are Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey, and considering that the Welshman has only just returned from a long injury himself I am not hopeful he can play every game….
What do you think? Does Wenger need to dip into the transfer market urgently? Or can we promote someone from the Under 23’s?
It’s a shame we can’t recall Jack Wilshere…..