Just how good is Santi Cazorla?
“Unbelievable quality and talent” were the wisely selected words that Mikel Arteta used to describe compatriot and potential new teammate Santi Cazorla. Reports have been surfacing this week that Arsene Wenger is close to completing a deal for the Spanish International that would take the total of new Gunners acquisitions to a promising trio of talent. However, with a reported £20 million being requested by Cazorla’s current club Malaga, what makes the 27-year old so expensive and can he really assist in filling the void that may be left by Robin Van Persie’s imminent departure?
A popular face in his native country, Cazorla has already made 45 appearances for his national team; a feat that deserves unrelinquishing praise, especially given that the Spanish can arguably claim to have the most talented array of midfielders to have ever represented a national squad.
Having spent most of his career with Villarreal, the Llanera born playmaker was sold to Malaga last summer for around £16.5 million, after the ‘Yellow Submarines’ experienced major financial troubles. Cazorla impressed in his debut season with ‘Los Boquerones’, assisting the club to their first ever Champions League qualification and finishing second in the club’s goal scoring charts, with 9 from midfield.
The impressive superlatives used by Mikel Arteta to describe his compatriot may be valid. He is known as an exciting player, who has the rapidity and aptitude to alter the rhythm of a game. These attributes may allow him to slot in perfectly with Arsenal’s exciting brand of football.
If he were to make the move to the Emirates, Cazorla would be able to fill any position across the middle of the park. He is ambidextrous to the point of perfection with both feet, allowing him to flow with ease down either flank. His intelligence and speed could also allow him to play off a lone striker. However, when or daresay if Robin Van Persie departs the Emirates, it is likely that Cazorla would play on the wing, leaving new blood Lukas Podolski or Olivier Giroud to the impossible task of filling the void that will be left by their want away Dutchman.
A big money signing like Cazorla will be just what the Gunners supporters’ need. With their talisman searching for the exit, a new star needs to be crowned in North London and Cazorla and his eye-catching abilities could prove the remedy. Not only would the Spaniard inject energy and skill into the team, his international caps could prove vital to the younger members of Wenger’s squad. His small stature is more than made up for by his confidence and experience and with an unwavering eye for goal Cazorla could be the signing that many of the Emirates faithful hoped Andrey Arshavin would be.
About to enter the prime of his career, ‘Santi’ could have timed this move to perfection. Spanish flair is of small majority in the Premier League, with David Silva and Fernando Torres the only ‘Rojas’ to dip their talented toes into the English game. Not only could Cazorla become a favourite at Arsenal, he could also become a major player in the best league in the world.