There have been diverse opinions among Arsenal supporters that Santi Cazorla, had he stayed fit throughout last season, would have helped the Gunners overhaul eventual champions, Leicester City.
A large section of the Gunners fan base adore Cazorla who, upon joining Arsenal, featured mainly as the team’s number 10, launching attacks and breaking deadlocks and defence.
However, following Mesut Ozil’s arrival to Arsenal in 2013/14 season, Cazorla was pushed out wide instead of his preferred number 10 position. Injuries also played a part in Cazorla’s career at Arsenal, but Arséne Wenger started fielding him alongside Francis Coquelin in central midfield. Many were concerned about whether Cazorla could cope with the fierce opposition considering the stature of the diminutive midfielder, but the opposite was the case.
Armed with brilliant skills and the ability to use both feet effectively plus his burning desire and top end tenacity, he has been able to support attacks and stabilise the midfield efficiently. He formed a formidable partnership with Coquelin and showed the Gunners fans all versions of the precious jewel that he is.
And at 31, Cazorla’s tenure in central midfield is edging close to an end, despite having a considerable level of stamina. Injuries have also been a factor and the ruthless pace of the Premier League means the Spaniard could keep finding things difficult at that age. Not forgetting that Cazorla has just a year left on his contract, the former Villareal man could be entering his final year as an Arsenal player.
Also, throw into reckoning that Granit Xhaka is also vying for a place in the team and at the end of the current campaign, it will be more difficult for Cazorla to nail down a starting spot in Arsene Wenger’s team IF the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey remain fit.
Cazorla will certainly be missed when he ends his career at the Emirates – not only in footballing areas but also for his lovable character. The ever-smiling Cazorla will definitely be courted by a top side, should he leave Arsenal next summer. In truth, Cazorla is one of the underrated players in the Gunners team and it could be when he departs that supporters will fully comprehend what a jewel they had in their ranks.