How Mikel Arteta's Absence Will Hurt Arsenal

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 14, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Mikel Arteta of Arsenal clashes with Gael Bigirimana of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal received some unfortunate tidings Monday when news emerged that Gunners midfielder Mikel Arteta will miss three weeks (per BBC Sport). His absence will certainly cause problems for the club.

In his usually candid fashion, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger wasn't shy about the fact that losing Arteta will have a detrimental impact on his team and it won't be easy to replace him. He said the following in the BBC report about Arteta's calf strain.

It is a blow because in midfield he gives us experience, stability and tactical knowledge. We will miss that.

We are in the market, but to find players of the calibre of Arteta in January, I wish you good luck.

When Arsenal lost star player Robin van Persie before the season, they turned to players like the 30-year-old Arteta to step up and lead a club that desperately needed direction and leadership on the pitch. 

He's done that so far in this Premier League season, as he's been one of the most impressive players on the Gunners' starting XI and shown leadership. Management has reciprocated that feeling, putting Arteta out there for penalty shots many times this season.

Arteta has delivered on the scoresheet too this year, notching four goals in 26 Premier League appearances. 

Fortunately for Arsenal, they just got Abou Diaby back from a three-month absence. The 26-year-old brings some experience to the position, but it'll take some time to get his health back. By then, Arteta will be back.

The 22-year-old Aaron Ramsey will also replace some of the minutes lost by Arteta.

Arsenal as a whole have fallen out of form in recent weeks, as they currently sit at sixth in the league table. However, they're just six points away from being back in the mix for the Champions League.

If they have any aspirations of doing that, though, they must find a way to win matches without their star midfielder. 


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