Jack Wilshere will be sidelined for more five months with a nagging ankle injury he suffered before the start of the season. The English midfielder was influential to Arsenal’s top four finishes last season and linked well with former teammates Nasri and Fabregas.
Based on last season’s performance, there is no doubt Wilshire is as good as both Fabregas and Nasri.
He is the best midfield talent English football has natured in last 20 years and is comparable to none in terms of agility, pace and skill among the current generation of English payers.
Only Ashley Young comes so close to the Arsenal youngster but the former Aston Villa man is restricted to playing as an attacking winger.
If Arsenal had scooped Young before Manchester United snatched him up from Villa, perhaps we could be seeing a total different Arsenal to the one that is languishing near the relegation zone.
Though Arsenal was forced to sell Fabregas and Nasri on various grounds, Wilshire was deemed the best replacement for Fabregas and possibly Arsenal had to search only for Nasri’s replacement.
If only Fabregas left, and that Nasri remained at Arsenal with Wilshire fit then Arsenal would be as red hot as ever. But the departure of both Nasri and Fabregas with injury to Wilshire has left Arsenal with almost no match winner but with only average players.
This could be the reason why the Gunners are struggling for form this season. It is evident that Arsenal is lacking invention and imagination from the attacking prospect.
The weakened defense has been exposed by humiliation by Man United in August and a 4-3 loss to Blackburn Rovers.
Though Arsenal tried to sign players on the deadline day of the major transfer season, the midfield gap has not been filled.
Arsenal signed Yossi Benayoun on loan from Chelsea and Arteta from Everton on a permanent to try and cover up Nasri and Fabregas void, this has not come to the expectation.
Benayoun has been hit with injury at Arsenal and Arteta lacks invention and mobility to support Arsenal in attack. Arteta is technically gifted and with good passing skills but not the kind of player Arsenal would rely on to get goals.
Fabregas used to score goals so is Nasri, this is not the case for Arteta at the moment. Only a fit Wilshere would have been a solution to the departure of the midfield duo.
Wenger and Arsenal have a mountain to climb if they are to find replacements to cover the midfield void and perhaps bring winning ways back at the Emirates stadium.
Arsenal made mistakes to release midfielder Denilson. He used to cover up very well in the midfield and could form good partnership with Alexander Song. Denilson was good defensively and offensively.
Arsenal is lying in the 15th position and will be very difficult to catch Man United and Man City now leading the Premier League title chase on 19 points. Even finishing in the top four will be very difficult for Arsenal with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham keeping the feet on ground.
Arsenal is a team that used to rely on midfield superiority like many major clubs in Europe but the loss of top three leading midfielders has proved too expensive for the club to handle.
Now, Arsenal will have to build the attack in a comparative manner. Arsenal needs a definitive goal scorer to ease their woes in the Premier League.
Robin van Persie needs some support in the middle of the attack because Ivorian Gervinho, new signing from Lille looks more comfortable when played on the attacking width of the pitch than on attack line.
Teams that lack inventive and imaginative midfielders require strikers with good scoring ability to win games.