Nacho Monreal admits Arsenal have sorely missed the presence of injured midfielder Santi Cazorla this season.
Cazorla has not appeared for Arsenal since the 1-1 draw at Norwich City due to knee and Achilles injuries.
And left-back Monreal believes the Spaniard’s absence has cost the Gunners dearly, with the north Londoners appearing likely to end the campaign without a trophy.
“Given the way we play, Santi is the perfect player for us because he loves receiving the ball, he brings our centre-backs into the game and really helps us to bring the ball out,” Monreal told Arsenal Player.
“He’s probably one of the most technically-gifted players we have in the team and obviously he brings a lot to the side.
“Everybody really likes him and we’re aware that his way of playing and the amount of assists and goals he pitches in with are very important for us.
“Obviously he’s had this injury that’s kept him out for about five months and the team feels that. When you lose an important player the team pays for it.”
Last week Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed Cazorla will be out for another three to four weeks, however fellow midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all nearing returns.