Wenger is sweating on fitness of Arsenal playmaker ahead of Boro clash
By Tony Hughes
Santi Cazorla is a major doubt for Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger revealed at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning that the Spaniard “got a kick” in the 6-0 midweek Champions League demolition of Ludogorets.
Cazorla played 57 minutes of the comfortable win before being substituted and replaced by Mohamed Elneny.
But Wenger revealed that the playmaker was not withdrawn just to be given a breather ahead of the Emirates Stadium clash against Middlesbrough.
“Santi got a kick so we will see how he is today,” said Wenger, as quoted by the official Arsenal Twitter account.
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The potential loss of Cazorla would be a huge blow given that he has been a key figure in the team that have steamrollered most opposition during Arsenal’s run of seven consecutive wins.
Wenger will also be unable to call upon Granit Xhaka at the weekend, as he is suspended after collecting a red card in the 3-2 win over Swansea last Saturday.
If Cazorla misses out, the manager is likely to pair Elneny and Francis Coquelin, who is the Spaniard’s regular partner in central midfield.
Cazorla has started 10 of Arsenal’s 11 Premier League and Champions League matches this season after recovering from the knee and achilles problems that sidelined him for the second half of the 2015-16 campaign.
In other Arsenal team news, Wenger has claimed an emerging Gunners midfielder will prove him right by becoming a first-team star.