Arsenal Must Hold Onto Santi Cazorla

By James Roeling
Santi Cazorla
Robert Mayer – USA TODAY Sports

You’d think that at this point in the summer the headlines would be focusing on the players who Arsenal have signed, not the ones who are leaving, but that would just be too convenient. No, we Arsenal fans get the joy of waiting until the last few days of the window to eke out some moves that may or may not work. Typical. Now we have rubbish reports of our beloved Spanish midfielder leaving — no, not the lego-haired one.

Multiple sources have recently claimed that Athletico Madrid have agreed to terms with Santi Cazorla. Arsenal quickly snuffed out the rumors, saying that they are not willing to sell the tiny Spaniard. Even though these Spanish sources are known for stirring the pot just to get people talking, it has some fans on edge. These kinds of rumors mostly madden fans of the player’s team and excite the fans of the potential destination team. This one is no exception.

Arsenal snagged Cazorla from a financially troubled Málaga side for the bargain price of £16 million, and he had a very successful first season. Voted Arsenal’s player of the season, Cazorla’s consistent and prolific play have made him a crowd favorite at the Emirates Stadium. All 12 of his goals last season came in the English Premier League, where he played in every game. He also added 11 goals to his resume, meshing well in the midfield with fellow countryman Mikel Arteta.

The only reason that Cazorla doesn’t start for the national team is because of the amazing competition ahead of him. He was able to feature a bit in the Confederations Cup, but he probably won’t be a staple in the starting 11 in his career. Although he might not be thrilled with this, it makes him a commodity for his club team. Ryan Giggs has been churning out goals season after season for Manchester United, and I’m sure not having to compete in numerous international tournaments for Wales has helped. Cazorla gets to travel and feature as a substitute, but he won’t be playing a full 90 every game; this will help prolong his Arsenal career, which I hope is quite long.

It is good that Arsenal squashed the rumors the same day that they came out, but now they must go out and make more signings that will increase the Spaniard’s potency. Better forwards means more assists. I’m looking at you, Gonzalo Higuain. Cazorla had a great season for Arsenal last year, and the club must make sure that he is around for the foreseeable future to help end the current trophy drought.

James Roeling is a soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter @JamesRoeling, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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