Given the injuries he’s had to overcome, it’s incredible that Santi Cazorla is still playing professional football on the cusp of his 38th birthday.
Granted, he’s not playing at the highest level anymore but the Spaniard seems to have enjoyed his two year stint at Qatar’s Al Sadd.
As he weighs up the prospect of retirement, the midfielder says he has unfinished business at Arsenal and plans to talk to former teammate Mikel Arteta about any opportunities the club might have for a reunion.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said: “My dream was to play more and more years [for Arsenal].
“Of course I would like to come back. I have to wait if the club thinks about me, if I can help in something – as a coach or a sporting director.
He added: “When I have the idea to retire, I will speak with Mikel or with someone in the club.”
Despite being a crowd favourite at the Emirates throughout his six years at Arsenal, Cazorla’s departure in 2018 was overshadowed by a long spell on the sidelines.
At one point, it looked like he might never kick a football again but after being released by Arsenal – who’d extended his contract by a year to help him focus on his recovery – he found sanctuary at former club Villarreal.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle as Cazorla produced some of his best form to earn a recall to the Spain squad.
All the same, the fact he wasn’t able to say goodbye to Arsenal on his terms clearly still gnaws at him.
“It was the best time in my career,” he says. “I love everything about the club. I miss everything.”
Genuinely one of the loveliest footballers we’ve ever had. Absolutely insane technician too.
Think we can all agree on that, fantastic footballer. Saw him at Arsene’s last home game he got a great send off from all fans even without being on the pitch.
Could play all attacking positions to world class level of proficiency…then he dropped back a bit and absolutely still killed it!
Oh my good god, I can’t think of many things I want to see more than Cazorla as Arteta’s right hand man. Fucking love the guy
Also probably gets into my top 3 favourite Arsenal players of the last decade. Was such a joy to watch
In a time when Arsenal did have a lot to remember fondly – he stands tall (yes tall!) in that era. Tasked with replacing Fabregas, no one could’ve done it better.
Would love to see him back – even as a mascot or something. Fully deserves a moment for the fans to show our appreciation.
I was about to say at a time when I felt next to no connection to any of the team because of the horrendous managed decline into mediocrity, Cazorla was one of the few shining lights.
A joyful player in a team run in a cynical manner
Jack, Per, and Santi! Would be great to have his jovial personality around and I’m sure he has a lot to teach. Let’s get Dennis in there too. Santi and Bergkamp on the bench every game would be incredible.
Right or left, he could be either
My favorite little moment this summer during the Everton US friendly was singing the Santi Cazorla chant. Will always be one of my favorite players to wear the jersey.
And one of the best chants, maybe only a half step less enjoyable than the Saliba! chant.
Arteta needs to sign Ronaldo in January if released by Man U. Don’t care the personality, if Arteta can get the best out of him, we will win the league.
He is literally the last player on earth we should sign.
Surely that award goes to Dele Alli?
Jose get out of here, do u hate us this mush.
I disagree. Definitely should sign Ronalso ahead of me. Well, probably.
I don’t know you. I know Ronnie. I’d take you 8 days outa 7.
It’s a no-brainer to sign you ahead of Ronaldo. In both cases it will be like playing with 10 men, but at least you won’t cost the club £500,000 a week.
Even Santi would get more goals… and a much-deserved swansong. C’mon Edu – just get him for 3-4 months… couple of wonderful off-the-bench cameos, even just to bury a few 25m free kicks!
We did for TH – why the hell not?
Everyone’s allowed their opinion, of course they are. This is categorically a poor one though
We’ve just spend 3 years and millions of pounds getting rid of underachieving prima donna’s, why the fuck would we want to add the biggest of them all?!?
s\ Let’s get Neymar in as well while we’re at it! haha
We’re gonna win it anyway
He was a fine player for us so interesting possibilities certainly. As for coaching, Santi will need to get his coaching badges etc. first and probably some experience elsewhere. For a post as sporting director, who knows? Experience in that capacity again I would have thought. Nothing insurmountable obviously, but I doubt we’ll see him at The Emirates quite yet.
Would be great to see him working with Jack with the u18s
He can be the smile coach, and will increase our xj (expected joy)
I can’t think of a player I would like back more. He was so technically gifted, imagine the wisdom he could impart on our team, the skills and methods required.
In the words of our Swiss maestro, that would be effin’ unbelievable.
And if the plan is to bring back to the club as many 2012 players as possible, after him, Per, Jack and Mikel, I think I’d go for Nacho 🤩
Yeah, and Koscielny the boss too while we are at it….fecking love Cazorla though, the little magician
Kos burnt a bridge with the manner of his exit, but I’d welcome back Little Mozart and even HFB back in a heartbeat. Both very underrated during their time at Arsenal.
Los Tres Mousquateros!
Even though it sounds ideal speaking from experience it is very rare a good friendship to turn into good business parternship.
I think Mikel is ruthless enough to understand that.
There are exceptions to every rule and Santi has already proved his exceptional qualities. Arteta would have no issues working w Santi, he already has trust from their time on the pitch. Santi was always everyone’s favorite player in the dressing room for a reason. Top bloke. After Bergkamp, one of my favorite players to wear the badge.
My favorite ever. Bring him and Nacho back just for YouTube clips of the two of them talking and laughing.
Where’s Tomas Rosicky? Tomas is my favourite.
Me too, loved little Mozart. We seemed to specialize in diminutive technicians for a bit. It was fun when we weren’t getting bullied.
It’s depressing for me as a short-arse that Tomas is considered diminutive – he’s 5’10” (!)
He’s a sporting director at his home club Sparta Prague. And he’s not doing a great job. Fans of the club have wanted him gone for a few years. So even though I loved him as a player, I don’t think he would bring anything useful to Arsenal.
According to the Rosicky case Santi’s footballer age is 29 maximum.
He got a testimonial game, so the fans got to say their goodbyes. Santi hasn’t had that opportunity yet.
I remember being at the FA cup final v Hull with the Doris. 2-0 down. Free kick. I turned to the missus and said this could be the start of the comeback. Queue top corner Santi. Followed by me losing my shit and stacking it down 20 steps at Wembley. Broken ankle. Lots of drink. Ultimate comeback. Love the guy.
Next May, after we clinch the title with a match to spare, we should sign Mertesacker, Wilshere, and Cazorla to one-day contracts for the final match against Wolves. I love all of those guys, and to see them in an Arsenal jersey once more would be wonderful.
Please let this happen in some capacity. Santi is an all time favorite.
Santi was an amazing Gooner. Will always be loved and his time at Arsenal will always be cherished.
I love that man. Such a legend.
It’ll mean delaying the Mertesacker Cazorla Unlikely Teammates statue by a few years. Worth it.
I’ve said this before: I have a great memory of the two of them after the FA Cup final, about the same height. Per was on his knees.
So many memories…but that free kick in the FA cup final and that shift at the Etihad 🥲
One of the reasons I will forever respect and love Arsene Wenger was his ability to surprise us with world class players that were relatively unknown. The list is endless (Fabregas, Van persie, Alexander hleb, Eduardo Dasilva(Before the injury)Santi Cazorla etc) let us not start with the ones he nearly signed😊 . From the first time Santi kicked the ball for us I was wowed. So sad he had the freakiest of injuries and didn’t get a proper goodbye. I would welcome him back anyday anytime.
Has anyone done a Twitter poll of what Arsenal player, when you think of him/her, gives you the most warm and fuzzies? Cazorla must be top for many I imagine!
Top of the list for me.
Oh how I’d love it if we brought back Santi. He should serve as an example to any youngster coming up why it’s so beneficial to be 2-footed. I think with him it was just natural but that trick he used to do when he’d go past a player with the instep of his left or right then immediately control it with his other instep. Not articulating it well but you lot know, should call it the “santi”
Struggle to think of many players that were as 2-footed as him. Genius
It should be called ‘the gift by Santi’
I have nothing to say, but merely sing at the top of my lungs: Oooooh, Santi Cazorla-join in everybody!!!
I watched the invisibles as a child growing up, but when I could finally afford to go to to watch the Arsenal as a fan, he was genuinely one of the most graceful footballers I have ever seen in flesh. Such a good player, I would be happy to see him back in some capacity at the club. I hope the opportunity comes up for us to give him a job.
Well, the invisible invincibles sounds kinda cool😁
Sadly, I never got to see the invisibles…
One of the few that I’d love to see back at the club helping the squad. His character, temperament and ability would see him walk into this team if he were a younger man. Exactly the kind of player that Arteta would love to have.
If he could help instil even a little of that in the players we have now and in the future, it would be amazing
Totally agree. Arteta comes across as quite intense and serious. How good a foil would Santi’s impish grin and joie de vivre be!
When I think of Cazorla, the first word that comes to mind is Joy. He was a joy to watch, he exuded that joy and he also felt it in an Arsenal shirt. Special, special player but even more special human being. You’re always a Gunner, Santi. Our doors will always be open for you.
I love him. He is my legend.
We should at up a friendly game for him.
Santi clause is coming back to town
I feel if he’d stayed fit then we would of won the league when he played for us.
If we have space, bring him back!!
Santi is coming back to the town!
I’m not crying, you’re crying 😭
We miss you too, Santi!
I still have this fading dream of Santi coming in this January – on a free, with a decent but not ridiculous wage – to grace us with a few Europa and FA Cup cameos, perhaps even more.
If ever – EVER – an Gooner deserved a swansong and testimonial it’s Saint Cazorla the Magnificent
Sign him up!!!