It’s finally been confirmed and Santi Cazorla is now officially an Arsenal player. We don’t have to wait any longer and that’s a huge sigh of relief. This signing has created a big buzz around the fandom because unlike the ones we’ve done in previous season, this was a signing of real intent. A world class signing that is ready to go. A mature player who ticks all the right boxes, as can be seen from his first interview with Arsenal Player.
Respectful of club’s history
The Club has one of the best managers in football and their style of play is recognised and admired all over the world. I’m so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League.
Realisation that he’s out of the comfort zone
It is a great step forward in my career and I hope it will be a very good experience. I hope to win trophies here – that is what I want of course.
Not resting on his laurels and wants to keep improving
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. You still have loads to learn but quite a lot to offer. It is an important moment in my career.
From the short 12 minutes or so interview (or at least after it was edited out for the Player), it does seem that we have a player who is genuinely delighted to have joined us and realised how big the move is. Cazorla said it’s the last train and hopefully that means that he thinks that this might be his last big contract. Which should further mean that he wants to stay with us for long. Though, he could just as easily be the best player in the league in 2012/13 when Barcelona or Real Madrid comes courting. We’ve seen that part before, so hopefully it won’t happen. The courting part, not the best player bit.
If I’m to think back on a personal level, it’s been such a long time since we signed a player that excites me. Lukas Podolski is a 100+ capped German international but even he failed to get me going (not that kind of going). But Cazorla has certainly hit that high note with me. The last time we signed someone that made me this excited was another Spaniard in Jose Antonio Reyes. Hopefully with Cazorla being older and more experienced, he would be able to cope with everything much better than his predecessor.
For someone his age, I’m not going to doubt Cazorla’s ability to adapt to the surroundings in London as compared to the supposedly torrid time that Reyes had when he was with us. With Mikel Arteta being the mentor and Spanish friend in the team, I’m sure Cazorla would get plenty of help to settle. Not least because his good pals in Robert Pires and Cesc Fabregas would be able to chip in with an advise or two.
With his inclusion and his ability to play anywhere in the attacking third of the game (barring the centre forward position), we do have real options on our hand. While I have predominantly seen him in wider positions (his time with Villareal), last season he has shown his versatility when deployed from a central position. With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Gervinho available for those wide positions, Arsene Wenger has a fantastic problem to deal with.
Unless injuries play a part, I’m suspecting that Cazorla will feature mostly from the midfield. Tomas Rosicky’s latest injury might be a real concern and the delayed return of Jack Wilshere are tempered by the presence of the new Spaniard. That should give us a starting line-up of Alex Song – Arteta – Cazorla. Even if an injury or two rears its head, we still have good options from the bench in Abou Diaby and Aaron Ramsey to rely on. And I still haven’t given Francis Coquelin a mention! I know the manager has earlier said this to be Diaby’s make or break season, but you have to be a little glad that he’s at least planning for the off chance that Diaby breaks down again.
For the first time in a long long time, we have a very good squad. A squad that is well stocked in every department to really challenge on all fronts. The League Cup could see a midfield of Coquelin – Diaby – Ramsey and a defence of Per Mertesacker – Johan Djourou – Kieran Gibbs/Andre Santos. That’s a very decent side. One that could very well go all the way. Of course, that is on the assumption that everyone maintains their form and don’t pick up injuries or suspensions. However, over the course of an entire season, that’s just silly thinking. But we can only speak of the now and for now, things are certainly looking very bright.
There are still some rearrangements to be done with the squad, especially with the outgoing ones. For today though, it will take some doing to get down from this Santi high.