Santi Cazorla Rumoured to Miss Rest of Arsenal Season with Ankle Injury

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League match between Arsenal FC and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad at Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla will reportedly not feature again this season, as his ankle refuses to heal.

According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, the 32-year-old has shifted his focus to August following several procedures on his injury. Cazorla hasn't played since October. 

The Spanish star is an important part of manager Arsene Wenger's squad as he brings balance to the Arsenal side.

The north London outfit are arguably stronger than ever in central midfield—Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka can all provide cover.

Ramsey and Coquelin have struggled at times this season, but they provide depth that was severely lacking in previous years.

However, Cazorla provides unique qualities that make his absence often harshly felt.

When he was sidelined at the end of 2016, ESPN FC's Tom Adams provided statistical proof of Cazorla's value.

With him in the side, Arsenal's win percentage was 65.2 per cent; without him, it was down at 46.4 per cent.

Cazorla has been absent regularly with injury issues during the last two seasons, so Arsenal have been in the position before where they have had to cope without him.

Wenger has the nous and squad depth to still manufacture good results in his absence, but the manager and the club will hope Cazorla returns to action as soon as possible.

The Gunners are still active in the FA Cup and seeking another top-four finish in the Premier League. Their European adventure is likely over after the heavy 5-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.