Arsenal handed major injury boost ahead of north London derby
Arsenal have been handed a major injury boost as Santi Cazorla is pencilled in return in time for the crunch fixture against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur on March 5 at White Hart Lane, according to English tabloid Express.
The Spanish international limped off the pitch during the 1-1 draw with Norwich at Carrow Road earlier this season thanks to a knee ligament injury and eventually went under the knife. Aaron Ramsey has become a mainstay in the starting eleven in his absence; however, Arsenal lack the same coordination and discipline without him.
Arsene Wenger welcomed Danny Welbeck back into the squad in an emphatic fashion as the England international glanced the Mesut Ozil’s freekick into the Kasper Schmeichel goal, and the French manager will expect emulate such swift impact from his 31-year-old playmaker.
Speaking before Sunday’s 2-1 win over Leicester, the French gaffer is quoted as saying by the Express: “They are on a fitness programme now so it means it is not a question of months anymore, it is a question of weeks for them to be back.”
Though the former Malaga midfielder returns for the north London derby, he will not be available for selection for other crucial fixtures, including Football Association Cup tie with Hull City, Premier League games with Manchester United and Swansea City and potential humiliation at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League.
Santi Cazorla has not been effective in front of goal this season as the Arsenal manager deploys him as a deep lying playmaker, but, when he partnered Francis Coquelin in the middle of the park, the Emirates Stadium club came across as credible title contenders.
Arsenal currently sit second, two points behind Leicester, and the timely return of midfield maestro in Santi Cazorla could help the Gunners land their first Premier League title in more than a decade.
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