Arsenal have the resources in midfield to deal with the absence of Santi Cazorla, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
The Spaniard is set for a three-month spell on the sidelines after it was confirmed that he needs surgery on his foot.
Wenger admits it is a blow to lose a player of Cazorla’s class but he is confident his squad can absorb the setback and has ruled out rushing to find a replacement when the January transfer window opens.
“In midfield we have many players, but there’s two reasons. We have the numbers in quality. Secondly, in January, you wouldn’t necessarily find a Cazorla even if you wanted to,” said Wenger.
Cazorla has already been sidelined for a couple of weeks and Wenger admits surgery is a last resort but it eventually became clear there was no other option for the 31-year-old.
“I try best to avoid surgery because it creates anxiety and rehab, in this case unfortunately we have come to that conclusion and now they tell me he will be out for at least two months but two can be three,” he told reporters.
“He has been treated against inflammation. The injections have not got rid of it. The consultant decided to have exploratory surgery to see what is going on in there.”
Arsenal trail league leaders Chelsea by three points heading into the weekend. The Gunners face a capital derby with West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal are unbeaten in 12 Premier League games since losing to Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season. The Gunners are 1.73 to win against West Ham, who are 4.75, while the draw is 3.80.