Yesterday rumours start to abound on Twitter that Santi Cazorla would not feature in the Saturday afternoon kick off for Arsenal. The game at Sunderland suddenly had a shadow cast over it, as probably the clubs best player in 2012-13 looked set to miss out. Luckily £42.5 million’s worth of Mesut Ozil recovered from a dicky tummy in time to feature - and set up Olivier Giroud for the opener.
Many greeted the rumour with rightful doubt - but in the end it proved true when the team sheet was announced at 14:00 - and the Spanish international was nowhere to be seen.
Cazorla has injured his ankle, turning it in training this week, and according to Arsene Wenger the injury will not be a quick fix. Cazorla is in fact expected to miss every Arsenal game up until the next international break at the start of October:
"Cazorla has an ankle problem. He will be out for a few weeks as well. I don't think he will play before the next international break."
This is obviously not great news for The Gunners, who already have serious injury problems across the pitch - and would have hoped to unleash the creative talents of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla over the coming weeks.
But what games will Cazorla miss?
The games with Marseille, Stoke, West Brom and Swansea all seem to be definitely out of reach for the 28-year-old - but The Gunners will, and should, feel confident of winning those games even with Cazorla on the side-lines.
But it is the game directly before the international break, possibly the last one he will miss that is causing the most worry.
Will Cazorla be fit for the visit of Napoli?
Rafa Benitez’s men went top of Serie A yesterday with a 2-0 win over Atalanta - Arsenal’s summer target Gonzalo Higuain on target once again.
And they are a team in flying form, with Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon playing some of the best football of their careers - Arsenal will need every weapon at their disposal to fend off the Neapolitan threat.
Cazorla is touch and go for the game, but it looks as if the team will have to rely on Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey to provide the creative spark to overcome the powerful Serie A leaders in three weeks time.
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