Arsenal's ambitions of progressing in the Europa League and clawing their way back into the Premier League's top four in addition to lifting the Carabao Cup have been dealt a setback with the news that striker Alexandre Lacazette is facing an injury absence of at least one month.
The French international, who stood as the Gunners' record signing before the £56m ($77.7m) January arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the final 25 minutes of Saturday's (10 February) 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and spurned two key late chances to seal a share of the spoils in the latest installment of the north London derby at Wembley Stadium.
Arsenal subsequently revealed on Tuesday [13 February] in a statement released via their official website that Lacazette underwent a successful arthroscopy on his left knee in London this morning. They "envisage" that the former Lyon talisman will return to the first-team squad within four to six weeks.
Though Lacazette has scored just one goal since early December and seemingly slipped behind Aubameyang in Arsene Wenger's attacking pecking order, he would surely have remained their number one striker in the Europa League with his new rival ineligible as the result of former employers Borussia Dortmund entering the competition.
Arsenal travel to the remote Swedish outpost of Ostersund on Thursday [15 February] for the first leg of their round of 32 clash before hosting Graham Potter's side in the return fixture on 22 February. Lacazette also looks set to miss the round of 16 in early/mid-March should his team avoid a major upset before then, but will be hopeful of returning for the quarter-finals in April.
Arsenal matches Alexandre Lacazette could miss after knee operation
15 February: Ostersunds FK (A) - Europa League round of 32, first leg
22 February: Ostersunds FK (H) - Europa League round of 32, second leg
25 February: Manchester City (N) - Carabao Cup final
1 March: Manchester City (H) - Premier League
4 March: Brighton and Hove Albion (A) - Premier League
8 March: Europa League round of 16, first leg
11 March: Watford (H) - Premier League
15 March: Europa League round of 16, second leg
17 March: Leicester City (A) - Premier League
The 26-year-old's expected absence - plus the recent exits of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott - means that Danny Welbeck and teenage academy product Eddie Nketiah will serve as Arsenal's only fit and available forwards for the next two rounds of Europe's secondary club competition.
Lacazette will also definitely play no part in the Carabao Cup final tie against runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on 25 February as Wenger seeks to finally claim the only piece of major domestic silverware to have thus far eluded him during his 22-year managerial reign in north London.
Arsenal, not in FA Cup fifth-round action this weekend due to their shock earlier defeat to Nottingham Forest, return from the next international break, during which 16-cap Lacazette's France play friendlies against Colombia and World Cup hosts Russia, with a league game at home to relegation battlers Stoke City on 1 April.