Santi Cazorla says that he still feels the support of Arsenal fans, and it pains him that he was never able to say goodbye from the pitch.
The Spaniard played his last game for the Gunners in October 2016, then spent a horrendous time out with injuries, meaning that he was never able to pull on the red and white shirt he wore with such distinction again.
Now, after a fine season at his ‘home’ club Villarreal, he’s been called back into the Spanish squad for their upcoming games against the Faroe Islands and Sweden, and spoke at a press conference today about his comeback.
“I’ve always believed in being able to recover,” he said. The people who worked alongside me made me believe this. We have to face things with optimism. I have taken many positive things out of my ordeal.
“There have been times when I thought I’d throw in the towel, but this was a background detail. I could get through with the help of my people and now I’m trying to enjoy every moment.”
Reflecting on his time in North London, he sounded wistful that was unable to say a proper farewell.
“It was nice there,” he said. “I have always noticed the affection of the Arsenal fans.
“If I have taken something from there, it is the affection of the fans and the worst thing is that I was not able to say goodbye to them on the pitch.”