first_imgArsenal’s annual injury crisis appears to be gathering pace after the news that key midfielder Santi Cazorla will be out for three months with a knee problem.It is a hammer blow to the Gunners’ and Arsene Wenger’s title ambitions, particularly with a busy Christmas schedule just around the corner.Cazorla’s injury adds to the already extensive list of players in the treatment room at the Emirates, with key enforcer Francis Coquelin also out until at least the New Year.Their absences leaves a gaping hole in the Arsenal midfield engine room which Wenger may choose to address once the January transfer window opens.Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see who the latest reports suggest could come in for Cazorla and Coquelin. 6 6 6 William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon) – Carvalho has also been on Arsenal’s wish list for some time and may have moved to the Emirates in the summer if it weren’t for a nasty leg injury suffered in the summer. This was on the back of highly impressive displays at the European Under-21 tournament with Portugal and the Sporting Lisbon midfielder has confessed Arsenal would be a dream move, hoping to follow in the footsteps of hero Theirry Henry. Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund) – Gundogan is one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe and has flirted with a Borussia Dortmund exit for the last 12 months. Arsenal are one of a number of clubs, including Barcelona, keeping tabs on the German, who recently admitted he ‘does not know’ what the future holds in an interview with Sport Bild. 6 Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen) – click the yellow arrow above, right, to see more great midfielders for Arsenal – Bender is a long-term target for the Gunners and their recent problems appear to have heightened their interest. The Evening Standard believe Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to sign the combative Bayer Leverkusen midfielder in January, slashing his odds of a move from 12/1 to 6/1 in the space of a week. 6 Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) – Considering Wenger’s reticence to dip into the transfer market, perhaps the most realistic replacement for Cazorla is one of his team-mates. Ramsey has been fielded on the right of midfield to accommodate more creative talents this season, but if he can replicate the stunning goalscoring form from 2013/14, achieved from a more central role, the Welshman could be the ideal alternative. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) – A slightly left wing option, but HITC believe Wenger has sent scouts to watch McArthur in recent weeks after a string of impressive performances. While Yohan Cabaye may take most of the plaudits, McArthur’s displays have been just as integral to Crystal Palace’s impressive start to the Premier League season. The 28-year-old, valued at £10m, could certainly provide short-term cover in that depleted Arsenal midfield. Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla) – The Evening Standard believe January could mark Arsenal’s approach for Sevilla midfielder Krychowiak. The Polish enforcer was a key part of the Liga side’s Europa League success last season and anchored his country’s midfield as they reached Euro 2016. His no nonsense style would endear him to Gunners fans. 6last_img

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