Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla played on one leg

Santi Cazorla

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla was not at full fitness in the draw with Norwich.

Arsene Wenger has admitted Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla is struggling with his fitness.

Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez were taken off in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City, adding to an injury list which includes Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin, and Danny Welbeck.

Wenger told Arsenal's official website after the game: "Cazorla played on one leg and of course we played Kosicelny at the start of the game so it was, I would say, a fair point for Norwich and it was on the injury front a bad afternoon for us."

The injury troubles are piling up, ahead of a crucial Champions League game against Olympiakos in early December.

Yet Cazorla deserves a little praise for battling through, and along with Mesut Ozil he topped the Premier League this weekend for the highest number of successful passes in the final third.

  TeamSuccessful Final Third Passes
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal 33
Mesut Özil Arsenal 33
Juan Mata Man Utd 26
Eden Hazard Chelsea 25
Yannick Bolasie C. Palace 22

Despite their injury troubles, Arsenal do have an option to replace him and give him a rest, by simply moving Alexis Sanchez into the centre.

They could then play Joel Campbell or the returning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out wide, promote talented youngster Jeff Reine Adelaide - or even recall Serge Gnabry from West Brom.

Going into more detail, Wenger added with regard to Cazorla: "In the first half he got a kick on the knee and it got worse. I don’t know if he has jaded his knee ligament or he it was just a kick on the nerve but the worrying thing was it got worse during the game."

As evidenced by Sanchez picking up a hamstring injury, giving injured players a rest is vital, and Arsene Wenger must learn from this and leave him out when Sunderland visit The Emirates next Saturday.

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