Arsenal have been dealt a huge injury blow with the news that Francis Coquelin is likely to be out of action until at least 2016. The Frenchman was taken off early on in the 2-1 defeat away to West Brom with a knee injury and will now miss the busy Christmas period.
The club are in the process of conducting tests on Coquelin but they suspect he has ligament damage and could be out for up to three months.
Mikel Arteta (calf) also picked up an injury during the game meaning the Gunners now have eight first team players on the proverbial treatment table.
Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are the other absentees.
Manager Arsene Wenger now has just two fit central midfielders – Mathieu Flamini and Santi Cazorla – and may be forced to rush others back quicker than expected.
Wenger will also be under pressure to buy an outfield player January – something he failed to do in the summer.