Robert Snodgrass and David Martin have admitted that Michail Antonio was a big miss in the game against Wolves on Wednesday evening.
Talking to the London Evening Standard they made a point of declaring that he is the man who can change games.
The team were back to bad old ways with little aggression or penetration as Wolves took over the game and cruised to a straightforward win.
ClaretandHugh understands that he may have picked up a slight groin after the win over Chelsea and was rested very much as a precautionary measure after returning from a long spell on the sidelines.
Martin said: “Sometimes when players do not play, you realise what they do for the team. Since Michail has been injured, you realise what influence he has on games. He can do everything.
“Sometimes he is not pretty on the eye, but he is a game player and he fights for everything. We are a better team when he is in it. He is so strong and is a real handful.”
And Snodgrass declared: “It is a tough one for Michail because he has just come back from injury. He was vital for us on Saturday and we probably did miss him at certain stages.
“You know what Michail is, he has been about for a while and you can see his strength and hold-up play, he is a very good player for us. But we have a squad.”
Maybe an even bigger worry is the reliance placed on Michail following the huge amounts of money spent elsewhere since Pellegrini arrived at the club.
That a guy who cost £7 million from Nottingham Forest can almost entirely eclipse the performances of a seriously off colour Sebastien Haller is a concern that will be shared across the fan base.