When news began to emanate around the Emirates Stadium on Sunday that Mikel Arteta was to miss the encounter between Arsenal and Manchester City, Gunners fans were understandably disappointed by the news the talismanic midfielder would sit out the game.
Since his arrival from Everton 18 months, the Spaniard has missed just a handful of games for the Gunners, but their record without him read as won one, drew four and lost four. Against City, despite going down to 10 men, their chances on the day were detrimentally weakened without Arteta.
Manager Arsene Wenger has since confirmed that the 30-year-old will be out for three weeks with a calf strain, adding he will be in the market for a new midfielder as a result of losing one of his prized assets and a player dubbed the greatest panic buy in recent history.
While Wenger is apprehensive to spend in the January transfer window, or any window for that matter, Arteta’s injury will most definitely force his hand before February. To lose of a player of his ilk will be a massive blow, regardless of who is brought it, and the aforementioned stats reinforce that.
There aren’t many a player who can replicate his escapades on the pitch, rendering his injury that much worse to the team. It’s now pivotal that Wenger moves quickly to cover the loss of the midfielder or risk suffering similar results to that of the 2-0 defeat to City on Sunday.