Duncan Barr – Chief Editor

•Spain midfielder has been sidelined with an Achilles injury since October
•Doubt has been cast over the return of Cazorla this season following a setback


With Mohamed Elneny off to the African Cup of Nations, Francis Coquelin out injured, and Jack Wilshere on loan, the imminent return of Cazorla has been seen as the great hope for turning the season around for Arsenal and winning the title race.

However, the Spaniard, who has been out since October, has suffered a setback as he was forced to undergo another operation on his achilles tendon. A quick return for the creative midfielder has been ruled out by his manager today.

Wenger said: ‘Santi is far from starting to run again. He had a little procedure and we have a meeting with the medical people today to see what it really was.

‘Certainly he will not be available in the next six weeks, that is for sure.

‘Will he play again this season? I hope so because once you start to go outside, you have to count six weeks’ preparation. ‘At the moment he is not at that level.

‘Let’s hope he can come back in the next three or four weeks on the pitch.’

This news does not come as a pleasant surprise for any Arsenal fans expecting to see their playmaker back out on the pitch this campaign.