According to big boss Wenger himself, lightning rod for the great DM debate, Francis Coquelin, will be out of action for three months (12 weeks) and not the two which were initially reported. As you may remember, Coquelin hurt his knee ligaments in this past weekend's loss to West Brom when he very enthusiastically dove in on a challenge to retrieve a lost ball.
"It is what we feared basically," Wenger said. "Let's be realistic, it will be 12 weeks. He does not need surgery. It was a knee ligament so it will be 12 weeks."
This would put Coquelin on the path to return around the end of February. While he's not the superstar DM signing that many pined for this summer and while he'll never be mistaken for Sergio Busquets, Coquelin does have an important role in this side and there is a notable dropoff in defensive acumen when he's not available.
Mikel Arteta may be the better game general and hair product enthusiast, but his legs aren't what they used to be so expect a timeshare between him and genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist Matheu Flamini in front of the back four. We could also see Aaron Ramsey or Calum Chambers serve as emergency fill-ins at the spot, though that would be a risk and would limit Ramsey's impact going forward where his skills are best utilized.