Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Santi Cazorla could return after Christmas.

Wenger claims that while Santi won’t be back before Christmas, he’s had his first run and could return afterwards – presumably January.

“Santi is having his first run today,” the boss revealed at his pre-Bournemouth press conference.

“His flexibility is good. Overall its very hard to set a time.

“You cant set a time, but hopefully after Christmas.

“He has not played for over a year, had a few surgeries.

“It looks positive.”

Santi has been out since October 2016 after getting a kick to his ankle against Ludogorets at the Emirates.

The 32-year-old went on to suffer complications, which meant that he was flown to Sweden for surgery. There were then further complications, as the wound from the first surgery properly didn’t heal, and the little midfield maestro was forced to undergo further procedures.

Cazorla has been gradually building up his strength over the summer, sharing videos and pictures of himself in the gym via his social media.

Arsenal have suffered massively without the Spaniard in the centre of the park and the idea of having a fit Santi back in the starting XI seems like a dream but, as with most dreams, it might not come true.

As Wenger pointed out in his pre-Bournemouth presser, by the time Santi’s fit, he won’t have played for over a year and it’ll take a while for him to be ready to play in the Premier League again.

His contract runs out at the end of the season… will he be ready in time for one last hurrah?