Having had a little wander over to Arseblog news this morning, I see that Santi has been talking about the fact his new deal runs out at the end of the season, with Spain or Arsenal being another option for another year or two. I think I speak for most Gooner’s here when I say:
Sign da ting, Santi.
I mean, it’s a no brained from Arsenal’s perspective, isn’t it? Cazorla has been brilliant in every season since he joined Arsenal, in my opinion, and I think anything other than a hearty new deal for him to feast on would be foolish by the club. Yes he’s 31, yes there are question marks about his achilles, but you only have to watch him this season to see that he’s got another two or three years minimum at the top of his game before his career will possibly start to decline.
Or maybe more, because let’s face it, his game has never been based around pace. His style is one that has shown to be adapative – he’s gone from playing as a 10, to a wide forward, to a deep-lying playmaker – and his ability on the ball is mesmerising at times. I’ve never seen anybody find switching feet and direction as easy as Santi does in my Arsenal watching days. He’s been integral to our team set up yet again this season and it’s telling that all of the questions at the moment around our midfield, tend to be geared around who will partner Santi, rather than who the best two in midfield are. At the beginning of the season we all questioned who our best midfield two are, yet right now it’s hard not to argue that all of our midfielders are essentially fighting for one space, for as long as Cazorla stays fit.
So for me, this is a fairly obvious decision and whilst I understand Arsenal’s position when it comes to over 30s, sometimes exceptions should be made given the talent. Let’s just hope Arsenal get a move on soon though, because I’d have money on Santi having about a dozen offers from Spain at least.
But we’ve seen this before and the fact that Cazorla says the club haven’t even started talking to him, rings a few alarm bells, if I’m honest, because with one year left you’d think they’d be moving heaven and earth. Unless a successor to Santi Cazorla has already been found? Does Arsène hope that a fully fit Jack Wilshere could pick up where Santi leaves off? That would be risky in my opinion. Jack getting a full season under his belt would be welcome and I’d hope that it would mean a return to The Arsenal, but I’m not convinced, and I wonder if we’ll ever see him in an Arsenal shirt too.
They’re also two different types of player. Wilshere is a traveller with the ball a lot more than Santi is. Would having him in the team mean that the partner alongside him would need to shift their emphasis? Probably.
The other option would be Xhaka and perhaps his arrival was a bit of succession planning by Arsène and Arsenal? Perhaps he will be the main man after a season of bedding in? He certainly has the passing range, and has been impressive in games this season, so I think he has the potential to be a natural successor. I just hope that’s in a year or two’ time.
Having Xhaka in that role would then leave the second spot open to a player like Jack to drive the midfield, or Ramsey to assume his preferred role as a box-to-box midfielder, and we know how much Arsène loves Rambo. He will always look to find a spot in the team for him and many speculated that Xhaka’s arrival was the gift for Aaron that he had wanted for some time. If that is the case, it would seem a shame, that it would come at the expense of the Spaniard.
Whatever is going on at the club though, I hope we keep Cazorla, because your best players should always remain at the club and based on this season he is one of our best players so far.
And he can actually score penalties. That’s always useful.
Catch you tomorrow.