The Spaniard will start the season watching from the sidelines.
Along with issues in signing new players, Arsenal now have further problems ahead of the new season as midfielder Mikel Arteta has been ruled out for six weeks with injury, reports the Daily Mail and Sky Sports.
Big blow for Arsenal with Mikel Arteta facing 6 weeks out through injury. #AFC
— Pete O’Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) August 15, 2013
The 31-year-old has suffered a tear in the Spaniard’s thigh muscle and becomes the latest member of the Gunners’ increasingly large injury list.
As well as missing the opening Premier League matches, Arteta will also be unavailable for the crucial Champions League qualifiers against Fenerbahce and manager Arsene Wenger could face a selection headache.
Fortunately talented central midfielders Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are available, but the fitness concerns of the Englishman will make Wenger anxious.
Tomas Rosicky also enjoyed a resurgence at the Emirates Stadium last year, whilst Santi Cazorla is raring to go – although the Spain international is better deployed as a No.10 rather than deeper in the formation.
Arsenal will also be without full-back Bacary Sagna for the season opener against Aston Villa on Saturday, meaning promising youngster Carl Jenkinson will get another opportunity to prove himself in north London.
However, there is no doubting Wenger’s men will miss Arteta, as the vice-captain has become the heartbeat of the side since signing from Everton two years ago.
The midfielder has developed his style since arriving in north London, preferring to sit deeper and allow players such as Cazorla and Wilshere to break forward.
Yet without Arteta in the side, Wenger will have to have a rethink as to how the Gunners will line up against Villa.