Santi Cazorla says he’d love to play one last game for Arsenal having not had a chance to properly bid farewell to the fans at the end of his six-year spell at the Emirates.
The Spaniard’s final appearance for the Gunners turned out to be the 1-1 draw with Ludogorets in the Champions League in October 2016. He picked up an ankle injury in that game and when standard rehabilitation proved unsuccessful he went under the knife.
Complications, including a viral infection, led to eight surgeries and suggestions he might never kick a ball again. Thankfully, he made a recovery, but not before his Arsenal contract, extended by an extra year despite his problems, came to an end.
After leaving London he returned to Spain and has made a comeback that has been nothing short of miraculous. Former club Villarreal took a punt on him and he ended up playing most of the 2018/19 season. Last year, he even earned a recall from his country.
While life in his homeland is treating him well, Cazorla still has an itch to scratch.
“I don’t know if it’s possible or not, but I want to play one more game for Arsenal before I retire,” he told Goal.com.
“It was a deep regret that I could never have a proper goodbye.
“Arsenal was the biggest club I ever played for. I’m proud that I was an Arsenal player.
“I’m especially grateful for Arsenal fans who supported me even after I left the club. I wish I can be part of the Gunners family in the future again.”
The fact that old pal, Mikel Arteta is now in charge at Arsenal probably makes the idea of a return all the more enticing. Santi had warm words to say about his compatriot.
“Yes, I believed he would become a manager in the future. Even when I was playing with him, he showed great leadership in dressing room,” he said.
“Some say it’s a gamble for Arsenal to appoint him, but I believe it’s a reasonable challenge. He also worked as a coach under Pep Guardiola. I believe he can become a great coach.”
He added: “It’s not easy for any manager now to be like Wenger or Ferguson. I can’t anticipate how long he’ll stay at Arsenal, but I believe he can also make great career at Arsenal, and he’s a proper one for Arsenal.
“I hope Mikel leads Arsenal well.”
Would we like to see Santi in an Arsenal shirt again? Absolutely? Do we think it will happen? Probably not outside a Legends game. But who knows, the way things have panned out for him in the last few years, anything could happen.