So, having hung around a little longer than normal, wondering whether Arsène had anything more to say on Santi’s situation and the answer turns out to be ‘little bit’.
Cazorla, according to the club statement, is to undergo the knife:
The club’s medical team and specialists have decided that surgery is required to the plantaris tendon in the Spain international’s right foot.
The problem has not progressed during a rehabilitation programme following the injury during the home match with Ludogorets on October 19.
We expect Santi’s full recovery to take approximately three months.
The cynical voice in my head asks if that includes recovery from the inevitable hamstring injury he will suffer on his return to the side?
Wenger spoke this morning, underlining that the situation was very much a last resort:
“For me its very bad news. I always try and avoid surgery, it creates a lot of anxiety and rehab.
“This time it’s unfortunate that we have to draw that conclusion. He’s out for at least two months, but that could go up to three. You have the date for surgery, but not the date for his return.
“Santi is desperate to play, he’s only happy on the football pitch. He wants to get out of this vicious cycle of being in and out of the side.”
And we want him out of it as well. His absence has highlighted his importance to the side. The situation is reminiscent of Gilberto Silva’s arrival at the club. Plenty criticised him until he was injured and delayed in his return from international duty a couple of times, then his importance to the side was fully appreciated.
The same with Cazorla. Criticised quite widely last season until injury proved him to be the fulcrum of the team. The point is triple-underlined as we have struggled to get a working relationship in midfield.
It’s not a situation which will change any time soon. Santi’s injury isn’t going to force Wenger into the transfer market.
No, not really. Firstly, we have the numbers and quality in midfield. Secondly in January you won’t necessarily find another Cazorla
Which is a fair point. January, despite being Wenger’s favoured transfer window to allow foreign players to adapt to the English game, is difficult to buy in, particularly for players of the quality we should be looking at.
The injury news was better for Danny Welbeck. He is set to return before the end of the year which, with Lucas Perez, offers options for the front line. Whether they are the right options, only time will tell but it’s a shame it isn’t sooner. Olivier Giroud is out for Saturday’s trip to West Ham, as is Mohammed Elneny whose illness rules him out.
Mathieu Debuchy may have played had he not knacked his hamstring. Wenger confirmed that his compatriot is out for six weeks and as a result unlikely to go out on loan in January. Whether that’s the injury stopping him or a signal of the manager’s lack of confidence in Carl Jenkinson isn’t clear and certainly won’t be mentioned all the while Arsène needs him. He is nothing if not practical.