Pundit: Arsenal haven’t been the same without this player, he’s a huge miss

Phil Thompson highlights Santi Cazorla's injury as a contributory factor to Arsenal's disappointing form

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla Photo: The Sport Review

Phil Thompson has described Santi Cazorla as a huge miss for Arsenal this season following his lay-off due to injury.

The Gunners midfielder has struggled with a serious ankle problem since featuring in the north London derby at the Emirates Stadium back in October.

Cazorla was forced to undergo an operation on the issue but the Spain international was unable to make a return before the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

The pint-sized midfielder has become an important member of Arsene Wenger’s first-team in recent seasons in a holding role.

Summer signing Granit Xhaka and Frenchman Francis Coquelin have struggled for consistency in the former Malaga midfielder’s absence through injury.

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ about Cazorla’s absence throughout the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, ex-Liverpool captain Thompson said:

“One of the biggest losses to Arsenal was Cazorla. He has made everything tick.

“He found that new role playing in the middle. He could link up a lot.”

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Cazorla scored seven goals and made 11 assists in 33 appearances in the 2014-15 season before spending a lot of time on the sidelines over the past two campaigns.

Arsenal are in fifth place in the Premier League table ahead of their final game of the season against Everton.

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