Arsene Wenger has ruled out dipping into the transfer market when the window reopens in January to sign cover for the injured Santi Cazorla.
The club has confirmed that the midfielder is set to undergo surgery on an Achilles problem that is expected to rule him out of action for three months.
The news is a big blow to the Gunners but Wenger says he has a big enough squad to cope with the absence of the 31-year-old.
“Not really, no [Santi will not be replaced],” he said according to the official Arsenal website. “In midfield we have many players.
“There are two reasons – first of all we have the number and the quality and secondly, in the January transfer market, you will not necessarily find a Cazorla, even if you wanted to.”
Wenger also revealed that surgery had been the last resort for Cazorla but that the player was keen for the problem to be fixed as soon as possible.
- Wolves star slams Arsenal players – “It was like they won the league”
- [Team news] Wolves vs Arsenal predicted line up: Key stars return
- RB Leipzig insist top Arsenal summer target WON’T be sold
“For me it’s very bad news,” he added “You always know the date of the surgery but never the date where the player will play again.
“I always try to put absolutely everything in place to avoid surgery because it creates anxiety and rehab.
“Santi himself wants to get out of that vicious circle of going out and coming in again. He just wants to cure it.
“No [I don’t have regrets] because we always liaise with Santi’s people and he is treated the way we want him to be treated. It is always very sensitive. Bone inflammation, you never know how long it will last.”
While Arsenal have plenty of midfield options they have struggled in recent weeks without Cazorla and Wenger now needs to find the right balance starting with West Ham on Saturday.