Santi Cazorla has been recommended by ‘top specialists’ to undergo surgery in Sweden in order to help correct his Achilles injury.

According to the IBTimes, where the rumour originated before being confirmed by Arsenal.com, this could leave the Spaniard out until next year (three months) and it’s not looking as if Santi has a future at Arsenal.

The 31-year-old is just two weeks away from turning 32 and is out of contract at the end of the season. He’s been open about the fact that, if Arsenal offer him an extension, he’s happy to take it. But we haven’t.

“I am good here, I feel important, I have the confidence of the coach and of team mates,” Santi told Cadena SER back in September.

“If Arsenal ask me to continue I will continue, I am happy here, this is a great club.”

To many, this has seemed a little odd. Our midfield metronome, when fit, is one of the best there is and completely transforms the way the current starting XI approach games.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal is helped to his feet by referee Danny Makkelie during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Arsenal FC and FC Basel 1893 at the Emirates Stadium on September 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal is helped to his feet by referee Danny Makkelie during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Arsenal FC and FC Basel 1893 at the Emirates Stadium on September 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

But that’s the clincher: ‘when fit’. Since moving to north London from Malaga in 2012, Santi has appeared in 180 games. Minus this season’s, 169. On average, over four seasons, that’s 42.25 games. This isn’t terrible but if you look at the massive chunks – months and months – spent out with long-term injuries, you begin to see that perhaps it was just never meant to be.

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Speaking following our 2-0 loss to Southampton in the EFL Cup, Arsene Wenger didn’t exactly seem full of answers.

“Cazorla I don’t know, honestly. It’s just inflammation. It can go in two days, two weeks – I don’t know. He has no setback, the inflammation is just still here. At the moment, it’s stable.”

I think it’s time to mentally prepare ourselves to say goodbye to our little midfield maestro.