Arsenal will be without Santi Cazorla for at least the next three months after the creative midfielder was ruled out with an ankle injury.
The classy Spaniard was forced off just 57 minutes into Arsenal's 6-0 win at home to Ludogorets back on October 19 and his missed all nine of the Gunners' games since.
The club's official website have confirmed that Cazorla will travel to Sweden early next week in order to undergo surgery on the plantaris tendon in his right ankle, and he is unlikely to play again until March (at the earliest).
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Cazorla, whose contract at the Emirates Stadium expires this summer, has been trying to rehabilitate the injury in a desperate attempt to put off the operation, but the problem "had not progessed", leaving surgery as the only option.
Huge blow for Arsenal
The 31-year-old missed seven months of the last campaign with a knee injury and had recorded two goals and three assists in 11 games across all competitions this season.
The news comes as a huge blow to Arsenal, with many seeing Cazorla as the only central midfielder in their squad who gets them playing and who has the quality to unlock defences from deeper positions on the pitch.
Arsenal fans react
As you would expect, Arsenal fans have reacted on Twitter in their masses to the disappointing news regarding their Spanish maestro, revealing how they are feeling and what they think Cazorla's lengthy absence means for their season. Check out the best of it below:
Arsenal are currently fourth in the Premier League table, just three points behind leaders Chelsea heading into the weekend.
However, they crashed out of the EFL Cup at home to Southampton on Wednesday and Arsene Wenger will be looking for an improvement when his men face West Ham in what could be a fiery London derby.
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