‘I’m especially sad for Santi Cazorla’

Arsene Wenger does not expect Santi Cazorla to return to the first team before the end of the campaign, and he is “especially sad” for the player himself.

Santi’s influence on our squad and our style of play has made him a central figure since he signed for the club in 2012, but injury has restricted him to just 11 appearances this season.

“It is very frustrating for us because, at the start of the season, he was maybe the star of the team,” said Wenger.

“Overall it is a big loss for us but I am especially sad for him. For a guy who loves football, when football is so natural, he suffers a lot not to be on the pitch.

“I am not specialised enough [to know if he’s out for the season],” added the boss. “It’s a special problem on his calf. At the moment, the only thing I can say because I have not seen him in training, not even in fitness work, is that he’ll be short [to return this season].”

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