Mikel Arteta will need to settle at Arsenal immediately if the club are not to fall any further adrift of the Premier League leaders after Jack Wilshere revealed that he could be sidelined for as long as three months.
Arsenal’s lack of experienced first-team depth in the middle of their midfield, particularly after the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, is arguably the primary reason for their disappointing start to the campaign.
They are already eight points off the pace after just three games and will not want to lose any further ground in the coming weeks as they attempt to get back on terms.
However, they have suffered further bad news as Wilshere has written on Twitter that he is not expecting to be back in action until November.
The 19-year-old England star injured his ankle in a pre-season friendly against New York Red Bulls and the problem has proved to be more serious than first anticipated.
Therefore, Arteta will almost certainly be relied upon immediately to shine for Arsenal, as he is virtually guaranteed to start alongside Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey in midfield.
Arsenal’s next Premier League game is at home to Swansea and Arsene Wenger will also be without Song for this fixture as he serves the final match of a three-game ban.
This is likely to mean that that Emmanuel Frimpong will partner Arteta and Ramsey as the Gunners aim for a first Premier League victory of the season.
Arsenal’s odds are 4/11 to beat Swansea and they should comfortably secure maximum points against last season’s Championship play-off winners, who are still waiting for their first goal of the present campaign.
Meanwhile, if Arteta does start positively at Arsenal, there is every chance that they will at worst finish in the top four this season, which can be backed at 11/8 in the Premier League odds.