Santi Cazorla.

Santi Cazorla gave a midfield masterclass during Man City 0-2 Arsenal in 2015

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How Arsenal could do with having Santi Cazorla available for Sunday's trip to Manchester City.

It's been over a year since the Spaniard last played for the Gunners, during last October 6-0 home win over Ludogorets in the Champions League.

He's been out with an Achilles injury but according to Sky Sports, Cazorla contracted a serious blood infection during the recovery process and almost lost his foot.

Thank God for antibiotics. Cazorla is now on the mend after he was told by doctors at one point that he would be lucky to even walk again.

He told Marca this week: "If you manage to walk with your son again in the garden, be satisfied, they told me.

"At that time I was still playing, they told me it was OK, the problem was that it did not heal and the wounds would reopen, become infected. In pictures, I can see the tendon.

"He (the doctor) saw that I had a tremendous infection, that I had damaged part of the calcaneus bone and the infection ate the Achilles tendon. I had eight centimetres missing.

"I do not have a specific plan until January, but I will come back by then."

Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League

Cazorla's injury could end up being career ending, but he remains hopeful of returning to action for Arsenal at the beginning of 2018.

The 32-year-old, who turns 33 in December, has under a year remaining on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's players have certainly missed Cazorla, who transformed into a very effective defensive midfielder during the 2014/15 season alongside Aaron Ramsey.

Despite being an attacking midfielder by trade, he was used by Arsene Wenger as a deep-lying playmaker and thrived in the role.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

His finest performance in defensive midfield came in January 2015 during the 2-0 win away at Man City

Cazorla was the star as his penalty and Olivier Giroud's header - which was assisted by the Spanish maestro - gave Arsenal a shock victory at the Etihad.

Just look at the highlights reel below. Cazorla, despite being so much smaller than his opponents, dominated in midfield with his speed, footwork and energy.


What a performance. His best moment comes at 2:55, when he wins back possession, takes on four City players and puts a hard challenge in on Pablo Zabaleta.

Wenger will only hope Ramsey or Granit Xhaka can produce something similar during Sunday's game.

Olivier Giroud
Theo Walcott
UEFA Champions League
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Santi Cazorla

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