Sky Sports News reported the following on the Spaniard’s condition:
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta will be out for "approximately three weeks" with a calf strain, Arsene Wenger confirms #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 13, 2013
Abou Diaby filled in for Arteta in the team’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City, and Sky Sports notes that the injury may change Arsene Wenger’s plans for the January transfer window. The manager said, "We are in the market. We try very hard (to strengthen)."
Arteta has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent players this season, starting 20 of the team’s 21 English Premier League fixtures. He has recorded four goals and two assists in these contests.
The 30-year-old does not display eye-catching flare when plays, but he is a vital part of Arsenal’s tactics. According to Whoscored.com, he averages a team-high 85.1 passes per game and completes 92.6 percent of them.
He spends a significant amount of time on the ball and is the primary option to distribute to the Gunners’ talented attackers.
Arteta is a calming presence as a deep-lying midfielder. His soft touch and intelligent decisions with the ball allow Arsenal to keep possession of the ball.
The injury comes at a terrible time for the Gunners, as they are trying to climb up the table and into one of the top-four spots. Currently, the team sits in sixth place with 34 points.
Wenger does not have a wealth of options if either Diaby or Jack Wilshere—both of whom have worrisome pasts with injuries—are unable to stay fit.
Arteta’s injury is more bad news in a difficult campaign for Arsenal, and it is another factor that may contribute to Wenger’s inability to finish in the top four for the first time in his career at the Emirates.