Santi Cazorla

Santi Cazorla
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Santi Cazorla

Current Club: Arsenal.
Previous Clubs: Malaga, Villareal, Recreativo Huelva, Villareal, Oviedo.
Loan Clubs: None.

International: Spain 78 caps 14 goals.

Last season was a disaster for the 32 year old Spaniard, as an ankle injury required surgery in October and he was unable to play again last season, in fact he is still not back to first team action yet. However, before his injury, Cazorla was a central cog in the Arsenal team and had begun to build an excellent partnership with Francis Coquelin, with Coquelin providing the brawn and energy while Cazorla provided the guile and craft.

That is underselling what Cazorla has provided to the Gunners since being moved out of an attacking midfield role to make space for the arrival of Mesut Ozil. Some players would have sulked about having to change position, but Cazorla never complained or moaned, he just buckled down and worked at being as good as he could be in his new role. In my opinion Cazorla is even better in the deeper role as it allows him to see the play in front of him when he receives the ball, to spot the runs more easily and to be more involved.

His vision is excellent, which also aids him in playing the defensive side of his new role, he is very seldom caught out of position and is a very willing worker, closing down and tracking back constantly. While Cazorla is never going to be Patrick Vieira, smashing into tackles, he does not mind getting stuck in and seems to relish the physical side of his new role. Having excellent feet, Cazorla is fully capable of drawing an opponent into a challenge, getting the ball away from them and riding it to create himself space and time as the opponent is left to pick themselves up off the ground.

With his stocky build and low centre of gravity, Cazorla is capable of dribbling past players and use strength to hold them off, but he is more likely to look to pick a pass. Every team has one player that makes the whole team tick when they are on the pitch, that makes a significant difference to the performance of the whole team. For Arsenal, Cazorla is that one player, he is the man that makes Arsenal a better side and his quality makes them much more entertaining for a spectator as well. For that reason, I believe it was no coincidence that they lost their regular top four slot in the same season as Cazorla missed the majority of.