Arsenal have been dealt a massive injury blow. As the club breathed a sigh of relief over Danny Welbeck’s return to light training, an official statement was released confirming that Santi Cazorla is to undergo surgery and is out for around three months.
Arsène Wenger spoke at his press conference today about the situation, underling that this is a last resort for the player and club. Three months is an estimate for recovery but Wenger made no attempt to hide that it could be longer. With surgery, he said, there are no guarantees.
The situation isn’t enough to push him into the transfer market in January. His rationale is entirely correct: you can’t just go out and buy another Santi but there is an Isco. Or someone else.
It’s a situation which emphasises the Spaniards importance to the Arsenal XI. The quality of player which Arsenal are looking for isn’t going to be readily available. And cup-tied.
The situation impacts on Cazorla’s desire to get a new deal. Arsenal have never been shy of renewing deals with injured players but the Spaniard is closing in on Rosicky territory; three months last season became six; a couple of weeks is moving toward the same length of time
Some injuries are known to slow players down and Arsenal need to weigh up whether this is one of them or if it will give Santi a new lease of life. I hope it’s the latter; he’s a key player for the club and we’ve really missed him.
However, we have to stop being a ‘charity case’ as we have been in recent years. There is a fine balance between looking after the players and throwing good money after bad. We’re getting better at it but still some way short of the ruthlessness of other clubs.