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CONFIRMED: Introducing Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla
In news that was all but confirmed heading into the weekend the club have officially announced the signing of Santiago Corzola Gonzales from Malaga for an undisclosed amount. The fee is being reported in the press as around 16 million Euros (£12 million) with add-ons that would make him the most expensive signing in club history.
Santi’s Welcome Video – Courtesy YAMA Video and Culann Davies (@CWDComps)
Cazorla did have his medical and work (photos, interview, etc) done before the club left for Germany. No one knows for sure what the delay on finalizing the deal was but it was all but certainly done when it was learned that Cazorla had travelled with the squad to Germany for a week of camp and a friendly against FC Koln on Sunday.
Santi joins Arsenal and where he plays is anyone’s guess but his talents automatically place him at creative hub of our attack. We did a full profile of Cazorla two weeks ago when the speculation began to mount that Arsenal were set to sign him. You can read the full post “Is Santi Coming to Town” here.
Cazorla has a reputation as the most consistent player in Spain. He is smaller than Arshavin but he proves that size doesn’t matter, as he is on the pitch more than off it – something that should come as a relief to Arsenal fans. He’s a versatile player that spent all of last season on the wing for Malaga but can play across the entire midfield (both attacking and holding). He is ambidextrous in that he can shoot comfortably with either foot. He also is a free kick specialist – using whichever foot he wants based on the angle of the shot.
While he is known for his versatility you can’t overlook his passing. Like many of Spain’s current generation is a very intelligent player who uses both short passes and long balls to unlock teams and he averaged 2.2 key passes per game in La Liga ranking him 5th overall. While Cazorla is not afraid to shoot there is some who say for someone of his talent he should be putting more in the net. It should be noted however that he scored 9 goals last season compared to his new Premier League counterparts – Silva 6, Nasri 5, Modric 4, Bale 9, and Mata 6 – he’s on at least consistent with them. He averages 2.3 shots per game and 8 of his 9 goals came from distance.
Arsenal have got a world class player in Cazorla. Something fans have been saying we haven’t brought in since we brought in Arshavin. The boo-bird press are already having their say – by claiming rather uneducated-like – that Santi is not a regular Spain player. They should know he is on I believe his 45 (or 49th) cap for Spain. They say noone else was in for him. That may be true, doesn’t mean he isn’t a good player – he did capture Spain’s player of the year in 2007 and given the people in the league even then, that says something.
Cazorla had this to say about his move and the timing of it -
“This was the last train [for me] because I think that getting to a big club at the age of 27 it is an ideal moment,” the Spain international told Arsenal Player.
“You still have loads to learn but quite a lot to offer. It is an important moment in my career. I think it is a perfect age and hopefully I will be able to make the most of this opportunity.
“One always dreams of playing for a big club and now I am going to have the chance to do so. Everyone has told me that I am going to see a difference from the clubs where I have played before and Arsenal.
“You feel this a big club by the way they behave and treat you, for the facilities and for everything around the Club. I am very lucky to have this chance.”
Cazorla does not want to set any specific targets for the new season, but believes he will continue to improve in the Premier League.
“You always want to get better. I scored nine goals in La Liga last season, so I want to exceed that,” he said.
“It is always positive to do that. But we’ll see how the season goes. Hopefully I will be able to score a lot to help the team and have a good season. That is what we all want.” (courtesy Arsenal.com)
Cazorla also revealed that former Gunners, Bobby Pires and Cesc Fabregas told him how much he’d like it here:
“I have spoken to Robert Pires because he played with me at Villarreal,” Cazorla told Arsenal Player. “Obviously he knew about the rumours of me coming here and always encouraged me to sign.
“He told me it was a very good club and I was going to enjoy London, the city and the move.
“The same with Cesc Fabregas. He said this was a big club and that I was going to be very happy here, he said I would adapt easily. And I can feel that.” (courtesy Arsenal.com)
Of course you can imagine that Arsene Wenger has one big ol’ grin on his face as he does more than just paper over the cracks at the club – he’s in the midst of a full scale renovation. He’s added three significant players to the club in Poldoski, Giroud, and now Cazorla. Rumour still persists that Arsenal will also land Nuri Sahin. That without shifting any significant players yet. But that is likely the next step, regardless of whether or not Sahin comes in or not.
Obviously, there still remains the question of what is going on with Robin Van Persie. He travelled to Germany with the squad and is likely to feature in the match against FC Koln. Manchester City looks like they have pulled out of the pursuit. Juventus given their manager’s current issues seem questionable and there is some doubt as to whether or not Manchester United will table a significant bid that Arsenal will accept. While this summer has proved that nothing is certain, it grows increasingly likely that Van Persie could stay – whether that means a new contract or not is not known.
But today isn’t about Van Persie. Though many will argue that Cazorla and Sahin are possibly responses to the statement RvP released post-Euros, this is more likely a response to the fact that Jack Wilshere is likely to be out till October or November and will be eased back into playing over the remainder of the season. Still, it’s not been many awhile that we’ve genuinely been excited by a summer signing but Arsenal have done their business, well and early. Something no one saw coming.
Hopefully, the feel good feeling carries over into performances on the pitch and throughout the season.
Until then stay goonerish!