When Arsenal acquired Mesut Ozil at the end of the last summer transfer window, the team added depth to the midfield. And to top it off with the play of the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini, this meant that players like Santi Cazorla, who in the previous season were starting eleven regulars, found themselves on the bench more often. Even though this is something that is always a good thing, many probably wondered if a player like Cazorla had fallen “out of favor.”
Yet with injuries and need to rotate players, Cazorla has gotten the chance to feature. That’s likely to happen more often after his game in a 2-0 Arsenal home win over Fulham to remain atop the Premier League standings. Cazorla scored both goals and proved to be instrumental in a dominating second-half display from the Gunners. On both of his goals in the game against Fulham, Cazorla showed how well he was able to link up with Jack Wilshire from his left wing position while moving into space off the ball to put himself in a position to take his scoring chances.
Cazorla finished as the WhoScored.com player of the match with a 9.9 rating as he had five total shots in the game. Fellow midfield winger Serge Gnabry and Cazorla had the most total shots in the game while Cazorla was the top dribbler of the game with four successful dribbles. Looking at those particular statistics, it is not hard to see how it is that Cazorla was able to score both Arsenal goals.
Once it was announced that Theo Walcott would be missed for the remainder of the season with a knee ligament injury, many wondered if a player like Cazorla could fill the void. As Cazorla showed in today’s game against Fulham, he may not have the pace that Walcott poses, but he is able to do just as a good of job of linking up and playing the give and go pass game with the other midfielders. He does a fine job of knowing how to get inside the penalty area and taking advantage of scoring chances by finishing them in the back of the net.