Mikel Arteta has played down internet rumours that suggested Santi Cazorla is being lined up for a coaching role at Arsenal.
Remarkably, given the injury issues he experienced at the tail-end of his time at Emirates Stadium, the Spaniard is still playing competitive football for Qatari side Al Sadd at 37-years-old although it’s looking likely he’ll hang up his boots in the near future.
Arteta and Cazorla played alongside each other for four years under Arsene Wenger and are known to have formed a very close bond but a reunion isn’t on the cards.
“I haven’t discussed anything like that with Santi,” said Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace.
“Of course, if you ask anybody at this football club or any supporter about Santi, they will have a smile on their faces.
“He’s still playing, I don’t know what he wants to do but I’m sure it will be related to football because I know him well.”
“I spoke with him on my birthday but we didn’t discuss that [joining Arsenal].”
Cazorla left Arsenal in 2018 following a two year battle with an Achilles problem that threatened to end his career. After recovering from eight operations, he rejoined Villarreal on a short-term deal and proved a revelation, even earning a recall to the Spanish national team.
Despite the upturn in fortunes, he’s always lamented not saying a proper farewell to the Arsenal fans. In an interview with the BBC in 2020, he said:
“It was frustrating to not be able to say goodbye to a club who treated me so well. It is something left in my career to say goodbye properly.
“I am eternally grateful to the club and the fans for the way they continue to treat me.”
Would be like a Christmas present to have him back
Please make it so.
A bit like the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign at Liverpool, we could place Santi in the tunnel and every player gives his belly a little tickle on the way to the field so they can see his smile before they go out.
I see a Tickle Me Santi plush toy on the horizon…
We want it too Santi!
Hope someone can make it happen
A friendly game in his honor with his choice of 11 vs another 11. Does Edu follow this blog?
Would love to see him as a coach. He would be really good in teaching the youngsters how to make beautiful passes and assists.
Sign him up!!
He would also be great as a mascot – smiling and giving everyone a lift.
Could we have Gunnersanti as a replacement for Gunnersaurus?
Yeah and it’ll be free as Ozil can help pay Santi
Is there a Gooner on this planet that doesn’t still love Santi? Would love to see him come back in some capacity. One of my all time favourite Arsenal players.
Another one that goes in the ‘if only he had a better team around him’ bucket of the 2010s. I’d have him and Bergkamp as the best technical footballers of the Wenger and beyond Arsenal era.
Will love that smiley little magician for the rest of my life!
I have never loved Santi.😂
And that means i mentally sick and need treatment. It will be a criminal offense for any Gunner not to love our little magician, SC.
The first time I really heard of him, was an interview with a Spanish player saying something like “you think I’m good? You should see this guy Cazorla.” And that was Xavi.
And Xavi would be right! Cazorla had all that Xavi possesed, plus more.
It has now been Five hours since this story was posted and none of the 15 comments have a single downvote… unheard of for an Internet forum really, but perfectly encapsulates the positivity that Santi brings to football and life!
Our all career ruined or lessened by injuries team would be FUN to watch; Wilshire, Diaby, Eduardo, Rosicky, Cazorla. Who am I forgetting?
🎶🥁Ohhhhhh Santi Cazorrrrrla!🥁
What a player, unreal! 🤯🥰
I wish we had him now. Imagine him and Partey in the midfield!