Arsenal could be forced into the transfer market again after midfielder Granit Xhaka was ruled out for up to the three months with the injury he picked-up on Sunday in the North London derby.
The Swiss captain was the unfortunate victim of a series of incidents – Thomas Partey banged into Lucas Moura who fell and, into the process, clattered into Xhaka’s leg, who had no time to take evasive action as he was looking at the ball at the time.
Whilst there are many fans who would be happy to move on from Xhaka, because of his indiscipline on the field – Sunday’s game was his first after picking up a straight red card against Manchester City – and occasional mistakes, he remains a key part of Mikel Arteta’s plans in the short-term.
In his absence, summer signing Albert Sambi Lakonga could be brought into the replace him and there is also the option to use Ainsley-Maitland Niles or Mohamed Elneny, whilst Martin Ǿdegaard could be asked to play in a deeper role.
Alternatively, with the Gunners considering bringing in midfield reinforcements in January, that perceived need may just have been prioritised.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.