Arsenal fans that have been following the fortunes of the club for a few years might not be too surprised to hear about the setback suffered by Santi Cazorla on his road to recovery, but I do think that we should be extremely worried about it, especially if The Mirror is right with their suggestion that his new Achilles problems could mean that Arsene Wenger has to do without the Spaniard for the rest of the season.
The boss does have options and the first choice among them at the minute is Aaron Ramsey, but while the Welsh international continues to struggle for goals, with just six from 32 games so far, he does not have the same impact on the game as the little magician.
You can see just what Santi brings to the table for Arsenal from the Premier League creative stats table on Squawka.com.
Of the top 100 players on that list, Cazorla is one of only 11 with over 1000 completed passes, the others being Ozil, Ramsey, Barkley, Mata, Fabregas, Sagna, M’Vila, Toure, Drinkwater and Mark Noble. But they have all played a lot more EPL minutes than the Spaniard. Most have played around twice as much so the fact that he is still right up there with his stats shows just how well he was doing for us before the knee injury in November.
Of course we have Mesut Ozil and he is having a fine season but without Cazorla it is easier for teams to focus on stopping the German and thus stopping Arsenal. With our midfield maestro on the pitch the Gunners have another massive creative option, which you can see from the stats on key passes.
Santi has 33 from his 1203 minutes and that is more than Ramsey after nearly twice the amount of game time and the same is true of Mahrez and all of the other top creators bar Fabregas, Mata and Barkley. Is it any wonder that Arsenal have been struggling to cope without Cazorla?
And will his delayed return spell the end of the Arsenal title challenge?