Santi Cazorla says he’d love to return to Arsenal in some capacity but for now he’s happy making the most of a playing career that at one point looked close to a premature end.
The 34-year-old is set to earn his 80th cap for his country on Friday night when Spain play Malta. Given doctors were worried he might never kick a ball again and that he didn’t have a club when he left the Emirates, it’s a remarkable turnaround for the diminutive playmaker. After proving his fitness during a pre-season spell with Alaves, he signed for former club Villarreal prior to the start of last season and ended up playing 46 games in total.
Cazorla was a crowd favourite throughout his six-year spell as a Gunner even having his name sung during a 21-month spell on the sidelines. While Arsene Wenger stuck by him when an infection complicated his recovery from an ankle problem, he never had the chance to say a proper goodbye to supporters. While it’s an obvious regret, he’s hoping his relationship with Arsenal isn’t over.
“When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don’t realise what it means to be there until you are gone,” he told the Independent.
“I never got to say a proper goodbye. It was the biggest team I played for in my career and I miss everything about Arsenal.
“I don’t know what my legacy is there, you would have to ask the fans, but I want to say thank you to them all. I would like to play at the Emirates one last time before I retire.
“I don’t know what I will do afterwards – maybe a coach, maybe a sporting director – but I would love to go back to Arsenal. I lived in London for six years. My son loved it there. In the future, we will see if I have the possibility.”
Few fans would disagree that on his day Cazorla was one of the best players to wear the Arsenal shirt in the fledgeling Emirates-era. Boy, how we miss his creativity these days.
We look forward to seeing him in London soon.
Read the full interview, here.
We’d have him back in a heart beat.
Anyone for a new Player-Manager?
to think people used to call him inferior to fabregas
People compare too much.
I would have loved to have them in the same team. Fabregas was the greatest point guard type player we’ve had. Nobody controlled the tempo and teams play like he did, with his vision, passing and always making the correct decisions. Cazorla was more complete. Two different type of players, but both just as useful in my opinion.
Hmmm.. then it is just a matter of time before some of our fans to boo/jeer for being old and slow. He left with happy memories for all parties concerned. Lets leave it at that. A proper goodbye would be great though. May be a testimonial at Emirates when he retires?
Santi’s legacy? THAT FA Cup final goal!
A very important goal as was Koscielnys who almost broke both of his legs to get to the ball because of inept officiating. both goals are often overlooked. thinking about it now even makes me forgive koscielny a little bit.
Koscielny often did just that, though. Put his body on the line, either to get us an important goal or in his final season with us, when he played through the pain.
Still a shame he had to go out like that.
Yup. Remember his goals to get us in the CL? Both against West Bromwich if I remember correctly. I really never get the hate for Koscielny, especially today when you realize our board is a bunch of useless f*ckwits, makes sense if he wants to leave. Kos, Per, Santi, Sagna gave their best years to us and ended a 10 year trophy drought – no small feat if we’re honest and I wish our fan base can hold them to higher regards.
I have no inside information, but it seems pretty obvious to me that Koscielny believed he had made some sort of verbal agreement that the club would let him leave. I don’t know if he did, or if it was something the club needed to honour–I’m just saying it’s obvious that’s what he thought, and that accounts for his actions.
More than that. You can pretty much correlate our downward spiral in form, with the date of his injury. Massive (tiny) player.
Cazorla is the midfielder we are missing currently.
It’s great he is playing at the highest level again.
He might be not up to EPL’s pace. But can we sign him just for that smile! How I miss that happiness on display on the field
He is currently a member of Spain’s best eleven for this season, according to WhoScored.
I know it’s not super relevant but he gets loads of informs on fifa ?. Yes I am a 41 year old man child
He was so important for us. It all started going bad for us as a club after his injury. We were doing reasonably well until that point of the season I think.
True after ludogorets cazorla injury really was a blow
If he were with us again, on the pitch, some Orc would target his ankles!
All aboard the re-sign Santi bandwagon! Bring the little magician home!
With his son please. We still remember him.
Dude we would love to have you back.
Never met anyone who doesn’t live Santi even rivalfans who normally hate our lot like Santi.
Arteta, Head Coach, Santi, assistant. Dream team.
Based on what? We need a proven coach not a gamble
Based on what? We apparently have a proven coach, at least one that has won the Europa League 3 times, yet he still managed to tk shit the bed with it last year. And this year he has only proven to get even worse. Why not take a chance? I, for one, am sick of the conservative attitude that has marked Emery’s tenure. Have we forgotten that argueably the greatest manager of our club was Arsene Who? We took a risk then and got ourselves a 22 year legend of a manager. So where has that kind of forward thinking… Read more »
Well said, bob. Time to take a few risks again — that’s where excitement dwells.
Yes, a David Dein on the lookout for a new coach today might take a calculated risk on someone like Marco Rose, Christophe Galtier or Gian Piero Gasperini.
He would never have gone for Emery. And not Arteta either. At least Wenger had actually coached a football club.
Emery was never proven. He won Europa League only from getting knocked out in group stage. And PSG he didn’t even win the league.
Arsene Wenger’s managerial career prior to joining Arsenal:
Monanco (1987-1994). Honours: Division 1 (now Ligue 1) 1987-88, Coupe de France 1990-91
Nagoya Grampus Eight (1995-1996). Honours: Emperor’s Cup 1995, Japanese Super Cup 1996.
Games managed: 467
Games won/win %: 212/45%
Mikel Arteta’s managerial career before hypothetically joining Arsenal:
Martin mate….just don’t
OOOHHHH SANTIII CAZORRRLAAAA
Remember when Santi and The Coq bossed the midfield against City. What a game that was!! Always forever thankful to him for scoring our first goal in the FA cup comeback against Villa to end the Drought. That day confirmed his legend status
It was Hull
Hull of a goal though …
Yoooo u know what i mean broo
That City game was one of the greatest individual Arsenal performances I’ve ever seen
I’m in your neck of the woods over Christmas… anywhere in the city you would recommend to watch games (I will clearly need to check time difference toner if possible)
Who sold CARZOLA? Who ever it was (emery) their judgement on football matters is questionable!!
Obvious troll is obvious
I’m really happy that he’s playing, and is successful at Villarreal, but I’d absolutely love it if he came back one day as a coach. Santi is a player with a special place in my heart and I can’t think of anyone better to be helping the future Arsenal players, technically and as a person.
Pretty sure we all love him! His freekick in the FA Cup Final against Hull is up there with the best Arsenal goals of all time! Would love to see him come home. 🙂
We’d love to see you back Santi!
We miss you and love you Santi
Having an amazing season. Who would have guessed? Simply a magical player. We have NOT replaced him since he went out injured and our midfield has never had sufficient control since. Torreira despite height is NOT Santi. Nor is GUendouzi or Cebellos. No one matches his quick fluency with both feet, low CG and close control work plus sensible/sharp distribution. Wenger of course yet again managed to unearth a gem and switched him from winger to central midfield much like he found new use for Henry, RVP, Toure. Currently we will have to find some solution in midfield and it… Read more »
Santi played out wide, at 10 and deep for Malaga before.
Swapping Can for Xhaka would be an amazing trade for Bayern, considered he hasn’t played for them for more than six years and is owned by Juventus.
Perhaps Bayern can give us their ‘Can do attitude’
I think he meant Juve–that’s where everyone he mentions is playing. You know, like Aaron Ramsey.
you mean Juve not Bayern, but yeah these are reasonable (although very wordy) points
What red card are you on about?
As per Transfermark, Can haven’t gotten a red card at all during his time at Juventus.
How about signing Pogba off of Grimsby Town?
…there’s a spot open in the Board room Santi.
Bring along Flamini (what’s going on with Livornic acid…he should have bought over from Kroenke by now).;)
Is that acid produced by crushing people from Livorno, in a big press?
Still gutted that his injuries ended his time with us in the manner they did. Unbelievable player on his day, and always played with a smile on his face. Would love to see him back at the Emirates in some capacity one day.
Just his smile would help in any role. Hurry back Santi.
Sign him up in January after Xhaka xhacks off to Milan! A midfield trio of Torreira, Santi and Özil and a forward trio of Pepe, Laca and Auba is stuff straight from the dreams! ? Oh Santi Cazorla!
As much as I love that combination, That midfield is toast if you play those 3 together in real life.
I see what you mean David, especially with the way we play. Under a different manager though, that could be a midfield that exerts control in games. Think City playing Silva, Gundogan and Fernandinho…
This will be a very technically gifted midfield which will doubtless lack some physicality.
literally the first thing I did on my arsenal career mode in fifa20 was sign santi for £ 10 mil
He’d walk into our midfield. What a player.
He’d have gotten into our midfield when he couldn’t walk to be fair.
Part of Artetas backroom staff confirmed.
Nacho as defensive coach?
We don’t really get players that always play with a smile on their face anymore everyone is so serious lately .
Football had Ronaldinho,Santi and when He gets service to score goals Auba
There was one in Bolton when they were a boogey team for us. Okocha
I love Cazorla.
Be a different season if we still had him, confident of that. What a player. Assuming Xhaka is going and rumours of Torreria wanting to go, maybe we’ll sign another creative midfielder and stop this 2 holding midfielder nonsense.
Miss him. I always smile when I see his name and think of so many on here declaring he sound never step foot on a pitch again and that his career was over. Way to go, Santi.
To be fair, we’re only orthopedic specialists some days; on others we’re heads of football, and on others still we’re assistant referees. You’re probably remembering comments from one of those other days.
This news put a smile on my face amidst all that surrounds our great club
That wonderful footballing genius is welcome back any damn time he wants. Gunner for life
This guy deserves a testimonial match surely!!! Bring him back in the summer and let the fans and santi have their day. We deserve it after all the fking shit we have and will be through for the rest of the season.
Legend. A tough little magician.
We’d love to have you back Santi.
If you ask me Santi, you’re a legend. Everytime I see your picture, I hear that song loudly inside my head: Ooo, Santi Cazorla…, and then I just can’t hold back that big smile….
He is Pirlo and Fernandinho rolled into one
The only post-2004 player who would get into that starting XI. Cazorla and Vieira playing behind Dennis. Some midfield.
Sagna could make a case, I thought.
Yeah fair point. Him and Lauren – a couple of proper defenders.
Make it happen asap
Ah man, I’d love him here now, we’ve never replaced his quality,, come back now and show our midfield how its done
Arsenal haven’t been the same since Santi got injured and unfortunately never played for us again. True class. Hope he’ll come back and spark up the club again. Happy to see him playing well again.
WHAT A MAN, WHAT A MAN, WHAT A MAN, WHAT A MIGHTY GOOD MAN! Yes he iiiiiiss….
if they crowd funded his transfer fee in january, I’m sure the fans would reach it!
Ooooo Santi Cazooorla! Top, top lad. I just honestly wish him all the very best on and off the pitch.
If i could turn…. turn back the hands of time…
The mystery for us is that we’d necer know if he’d have been able to play for close to 46 games for us had he still been with us, but heck, i’d have kept it if it meant he could play 16 or 26 games!
Come back… As as player?
Next season preseason friendly with Villarreal!
Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky & Aaron Ramsey are my favourite players from the 2nd half of the Wenger era. They’re cult heroes if not legends in my opinion.
A Midfield of Santi, Ozil and Torreira, Come Done Raul Make it Happen!!
Ooh Santi Cazorla, What a gent
Fucking love you Santi
I disagree. Cazorla wasn’t one of the best players of the Emirates era. He was one of the best players of the Emirates and Highbury eras.