Blow for Arsenal as Cazorla ruled out for three months

Midfield playmaker will undergo surgery

Arsenal, Santi Cazorla,

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla during a training session at London Colney, London. Picture by: Chris Radburn / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is to have surgery on a right ankle injury, which will keep him out until the New Year.

The North London club expects the Spanish playmaker to return in around three months after surgery in Sweden next week.

The 31-year-old international has been suffering with the problem since October's 6-0 win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the Champions League.

The news is a blow to the Gunners given his importance to their style of play at the heart of midfield.

His absence was missed when he suffered a knee injury that ruled him out for much of the second half of last season as Arsenal missed out on the Premier League title.

He started this season well, with two goals and two assists and a key relationship with the team's other creative forces, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Cazorla's contract expires in June 2017.