Cazorla to kickstart the good times at Arsenal
Whisper it quietly, but things are looking good at Arsenal. Another summer and another saga over their star man and captain, but this time Arsène Wenger is being proactive in his handling of the situation.
Before Robin van Persie had even met with Wenger to tell him he wanted out, the club had moved for two quality and experienced international strikers in Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Not a bad way to prepare for the bad news.
But while Podolski and Giroud are sensible acquisitions, Arsenal are not only replacing this summer, they are strengthening. “Arsenal don’t match my ambition,” Van Persie told the club. The imminent arrival of creative hub Santi Cazorla from Málaga and pass master Nuri Sahin from Real Madrid suggests otherwise.
Arsenal are gunning for success next season and see the arrival of Cazorla, in particular, as notable progress in their quest for silverware. A balanced, technical, versatile and genuinely two-footed attacker, the 27-year-old can provide the kind of cutting edge and craft the club’s midfield has lacked since the sale of Cesc Fàbregas last summer.
Wenger wanted to replace Fàbregas with Cazorla then, but his bungled late deals didn’t free up cash quickly enough to rival Málaga. Now, with the La Liga side in financial meltdown, Arsenal will get their man.
He was worth waiting for. Cazorla will easily match his preferred pass and move style with Arsenal’s easy on the eye, quick-tempo football and he has the intelligence and quality to open up locks that Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey barely picked at.
Arsenal have the pace, power and strength to expose the nerves of teams, but all too often have lacked that killer incision to progress when games are tight. Cazorla’s quick feet, glorious range of passing and bullish mentality will help take the Gunners to the next level and give them another dimension when it really matters.
But as well as making goals, the Spain star can also score them. He needs to get himself into the box more, but from the edge of the area and on free-kick situations, he is lethal. Cazorla will get goals in north London, and many of them will be spectacular.
At a reported £17m, Arsenal might well make Cazorla their most expensive signing ever, but will still have landed him at a bargain price.
Cazorla himself will be delighted with the move, too. Undervalued at both Villarreal and Málaga, and for Spain, he will get a free role behind a revitalised forward line at the Emirates, and take centre stage as chief conductor. It’s an opportunity his dazzling talent has warranted for years.
He has been part of two European Championship-winning Spain squads but is desperate to buy into a project where he can work towards club level accolades. This might just be it.
All in all, a fine bit of business, and with Madrid schemer Sahin likely to come in and add some competition while Arsenal focus on bringing Jack Wilshere back, the summer of doom is looking like the summer of bloom for Arsenal.
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