Arsenal’s squad is now bursting at the seams with talented players, and we should have adequate replacements for any injuries we might sustain, but it would appear that the loss of Santi Cazorla may be one hurdle that we can’t cover for.
The little Spaniard took a knock against Ludogrets and Arsene Wenger was forced to put Mohamed Elneny on the pitch as Coquelin’s partner in central midfield, and the end result was the loss of two points against Middlesbrough. Wenger was asked if this was a crucial loss, and he replied: “Yeah, of course. You miss always, of course, Cazorla. At home he is from deep midfield into the final third, his pass is always quick and accurate. And, yes.”
Straight after the Ludogrets game,Santi himself took to social media to reassure the fans that the injury was not serious and he could be fit for this weekend, but with Wenger not even putting the Spaniard on the bench it would appear that Santi has not yet recovered. Wenger’s injury update yesterday was not quite so confident. “Cazorla – I don’t really know because we have to see how he recovers on Monday, ” Le Prof said.
The fact is that last season Arsenal were fighting for the title in January, but once we lost Cazorla for a few months our challenge at the top seemed to drop away as we surrendered points left right and centre. Our recovery to take second place ominously concided with his return to fitness.
With Santi now aged 31, we could expect him to need a bit longer to recover than our younger players, but is he really that important that we can’t even beat Middlesbrough without him?