'He's the best I've played with' - Iwobi on forgotten Arsenal star

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Cazorla, 32, has not played for Arsenal since October 2016 and has undergone eight operations to address a longstanding Achilles problem.

"It is the worst injury I have known, starting with a little pain in the Achilles and it has gone from worse to worse", Wenger told a news conference. While they now sit 6th in the Premier League table, four losses before Christmas have probably put paid to any title hopes they may have had going into the season, and with star players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil likely to abandon ship in the summer, the pressure is once again on Arsene Wenger.

"I saw him a month ago and I told him to prepare himself as best he could-he has a competent medical team at his side", explained Wenger, who confirmed that he did not speak to him recently, but was "hopeful that he will be available in January".

Sadly for Theo, he's simply no Henry - well, either that, or Arsene Wenger simply doesn't have the faith in him to let him try.

"Unfortunately, he is injured now, but I have to say Santi Cazorla".

Mauricio Pochettino
GETTY Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham are in high spirits

Spain worldwide Cazorla, who joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012, recently told Spanish newspaper Marca he aims to be back playing in January. Wenger left both Ozil and Sanchez on the bench during their clash at Stamford Bridge.

Lacazette's demotion and subsequent impressive performance in France's 2-2 draw with Germany earlier this week in which he scored twice, prompted an understandable line of questioning ahead of this weekend's north London derby.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Thursday that his side needs to maintain their strength at home in order to make up ground on the teams above them in the Premier League.

Wenger, who has been in management for three decades, said he has never seen anything like it. I think that's the only game he didn't start (along with Liverpool).

Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) and forward Danny Welbeck (hamstring) are due to undergo fitness tests to determine their availability.

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