While Arsenal’s defensive solidity and Abou Diaby’s renaissance have rightly had Gooners waxing lyrical, for many supporters the biggest talking point of the season so far is the genius of diminutive new boy Santi Cazorla.
The lynchpin of everything done well against Sunderland, Stoke City and Liverpool, the Spaniard has slipped seamlessly into Arsene Wenger’s system earning the trust and respect of his teammates.
Speaking about the immediate impact of his latest midfield dynamo, Wenger touched on the player’s eagerness to let his feet do the talking.
“Cazorla has gained the respect of everybody very quickly,” the boss is quoted as saying by Sporting Life.
“Cazorla is humble, he loves the game and that is what you want from every football player.
“They talk on the pitch, don’t need to speak too much, just go on the pitch and show what you can do. That is what he does. He loves the game, loves to play with his partners and that is the best way to gain respect from everybody.”
Usually inclined to urge patience with his newest recruits, the boss appears to have seen enough from Cazorla in the last month to negate fears of a prolonged adaptation period.
“Players like Cazorla have adapted in a speedy way, the game goes through them. Sometimes it is easy in the middle of the park, sometimes it is easy in the centre of the pitch to adapt because the game goes more through you.”
The most striking thing about our new number 19 is not just the manner in which he goes looking for the ball, but the way his teammates actively seek him out.
What’s more it’s very heartening to see that when he is in possession his first instinct is to push forward.
If that means taking on a man then he relishes the challenge; until Rosicky came good last term we missed that dynamism in the centre of the park following the sale of Cesc and Na$ri and the loss of Wilshere to injury. It’s early days, but he looks a fine contender for signing of the season.