Arsene Wenger has admitted that Santi Cazorla is a “massive player” for Arsenal and says that while the club are missing him they are confident they can cope without the midfielder.
The Spaniard has been missing with an Achilles injury picked up against Ludogorets in the Champions League with Wenger unable to yet confirm when he will return to action.
His absence has been keenly felt with Arsenal unable to consistently replicate the kind of form that saw them thrash Chelsea 3-0 back in September.
Indeed Arsenal have found goals hard to come by in the Premier League with a goalless draw by Middlesbrough followed by disappointing displays against Tottenham and Manchester United.
Wenger has outlined exactly what Cazorla brings to his team but says the club should have enough strength in depth to cope without him.
“He’s important to the technical stability of the team, to the decision making and building from a deep midfield to a high midfield and that’s an important stage because he gets the ball out from defenders,” he told a pre-match press conference.
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“I think we have enough quality players in our side to get around that. Santi is a massive player but I think we are good enough to find solutions when he’s not there.”
Arsenal welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates on Saturday hoping to put an end to a run of three consecutive draws and Wenger says he may shuffle his pack for the clash with Eddie Howe’s side.
“At the moment we are getting out of November. You see the first signs of some players who need a breather, especially in areas where you fight and run a lot,” he added.
“I try to combine both to give some players fresh legs and as well to get around the fact that Santi’s not there.”
Cazorla’s absence certainly seems to be hurting Arsenal, much as it did last season, and the club must find a way of turning draws into wins starting on Saturday against Bournemouth.