Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla has revealed that he has delighted with the start he has made to his Arsenal career, according to Goal.
The skilful midfielder has been one of the stand-out performers in the Premier League so far this season and has been instrumental to Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the campaign following his £15 million move from Malaga in the summer. Cazorla scored and provided an assist for Lukas Podolski in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory at Liverpool recently.
Cazorla said, “I love the style of the team. Wenger’s philosophy is to control the game and I like to be on the ball. Furthermore, the boss has put me in a position, second striker, with all the freedom I want to have.” Cazorla added, “He told me to be at ease and that he’d play me where I could most help the team. It surprised me in pre-season when he put me as second striker.”
The Spaniard admits that playing in the centre of midfield for Arsenal does not come naturally to him, “I’ve come to play on the wings with the freedom to move inside, but Wenger has immediately put me in this position. With Arteta, Diaby, Rosicky and Wilshere, who is recovering from injury, we’re going to have a lot of the ball.”
The 27-year-old said he was also thankful to his compatriot Mikel Arteta for helping him adapt to life in London and the Premier League so quickly, “Arteta has advised me a lot, he told me football is much faster and less tactical than Spain. It’s more give-and-go. Mikel has helped me to learn to see the game and said that if we play rapidly with the ball we’re going to create a lot of danger and beat most teams. Wenger wants him [Arteta] now as a defensive pivot and he’s doing it very well. He gives real balance and he can win the ball back and play it out because with the ball he’s spectacular.”
Cazorla spent most of his career at La Liga side Villarreal where he had two spells at the club, sandwiching a brief stay at Recreativo. His string of impressive performances for Villarreal in Europe meant that he attracted interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Despite this, Cazorla remained faithful to Villarreal before joining the wealthy Malaga in the summer of 2011 for a fee of around £18 million. The Spanish midfielder made a key contribution last season helping Malaga achieve qualification into this Champions League for the first time in their history.
It was this contribution that caught the attention of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last season and the Gunners boss will be hoping that Cazorla’s relatively good goal-scoring record will continue into this weekend when Arsenal entertain newly-promoted Southampton at the Emirates.