The news that superstar playmaker Mesut Ozil is likely to miss the remainder of 2014 with a knee injury will certainly not be well received at Arsenal.
Resources are rapidly running out at the Emirates, as the World Cup winner joins Mathieu Debuchy, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Yaya Sanogo and David Ospina in the treatment room.
Given Arsene Wenger’s obsession with those who can play in the number ten role, he’s got a few alternatives he can call on to replace the German, but perhaps it’s time to use this opportunity for a change of approach.
A stuttering start has seen the north Londoners all but fall out of title contention barely before the tenth month had dawned, with a league without Chelsea and Manchester City the only one they can realistically hope to win now.
They’re competing with Manchester United for that particular honour according to the betting, with Arsenal 6/4 shouts behind the Red Devils at 5/4.
If they wish to overhaul the 13-time Premier League champions in these stakes, a formation alteration may be required.
With just two league successes in seven outings, it’s clear that the current blueprint isn’t working.
So with Ozil sidelined, is now the time for Joel Campbell to come to the fore?
The Costa Rican youngster has been restricted to just one substitute appearance thus far, but his pace would make him an excellent replacement for the club’s stricken record signing.
Ozil’s string-pulling penchant means you won’t see him burst beyond an opposition backline during build up play, nor will he be harrying adversaries once possession is relinquished high up the pitch.
Deploying Campbell just behind Danny Welbeck would add that missing element of directness to the Gunners attack.
Their recent defeat at Chelsea exemplified how desperate they are for extra impetus in the upper echelons, with Arsenal claiming the bulk of possession, as they so frequently do, but barely able to fashion a goalscoring opportunity at Stamford Bridge.
In Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla, Wenger has two expert conjurers whom he can task with supplying the ball to his revamped forward line, so with no Ozil, there’s never been a better time to sample a new look.