Friday, June 21, 2024

Cazorla: Door always open to Arsenal return

As he edges closer to the end of his playing career, Santi Cazorla has hinted he could be tempted by a role at Arsenal where “the door is always open”.

It’s expected that the 39-year-old midfielder will announce his retirement this summer whether boyhood club Real Oviedo, for whom he signed last summer, make a successful return to La Liga or not.

Cazorla helped the Oviedistas to a sixth place finish in the Segunda Division, qualifying them for the promotion play-offs. Their fate will be decided in the next couple of weeks, although after a semi-final first-leg 0-0 draw at home with Eibar, their hopes hang in the balance.

“I have a very special affection for Arsenal,” he told Sky Sports this week. “I spent six wonderful years there and I know how much all the people love me there.

“Of course, I was fortunate to share a dressing room with Mikel Arteta and now he is the manager. We had conversations about that but right now I am not focused on anything other than contributing to this club, Oviedo, and continuing to enjoy football as a player.

“After that, we will see what the future holds for me. It is clear that Arsenal is a club that has always left the door open to me to return.

“But right now, I have enough on my mind with the play-offs and trying to enjoy the last days of my playing career.”

Cazorla struck up a close relationship with Arteta in north London when the latter took him under his wing following his arrival from Malaga in 2012. The diminutive midfielder became a firm fan favourite during his six seasons at Arsenal but departed following an injury-ravaged spell that left him fighting to run, let alone kick a ball.

Amazingly, he fought back from the brink to regain a place in the Spain squad after Villarreal took a chance on their former player. Since then he’s also played for three years in Qatar before being tempted back home by Oviedo.

Cazorla has previously said of his Arsenal exit: “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.”

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To read the full interview with Santi, click here. 

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Eric Blair

Don’t tease me like that!

Johnny 4 Hats

I feel like Arteta really has an affinity with and sees utility in good characters.

I remember him once saying that good things happen to good people. He obviously believes that if you express positivity then positive results come back in return.

Plus, personalities like Santi will offset Mikel’s slightly bastardary nature. I could just see Arteta telling Raya at the end of this season that he’s being replaced by James Trafford and just when Raya looks like he’s reaching the depths of despair, Arteta says “you may now cuddle Santi”.

Ebo

Yes, need Santi joining Jorgi to form “the Axis of Cuddle”, where you go after Arteta goes ballistic on you ‘All or Nothing’ style

Ozzie

Being a lovely guy and astonishingly good footballer doesn’t necessarily make you a good coach.

Norwegian Wood

I’m going to think Arteta would know a good coach from a poor one so if Arteta is leaving the door open, then Santi is a good coach.

Ebo

To be fair I don’t think Santi has the authoritative character it takes to be a good top level manager, but I do think he could make a brilliant assistant coach

9ja pikin

You are always welcome

Daveo

New lyrics, same time:
Coach Santi Cazorla, Coach Santi Cazorla!

Daveo

Tune*

Emi Rates

Imagine being Cazorla and bringing his old club into the top tier in his last ever season as a player. Doesn’t get more fairytale ending than that, surely?

yes

clearly you have never watched shrek 2

Emi Rates

I meant to say apart from Shrek 2 of course.

Goonerink

i know hes 40 but is he anywhere near as good as he was? if so id say let him be ESR replacement for a season!

Ebo

I’m sure in a rested state he can still dribble a ball and kick one into the net, but at this stage I don’t think he’d last even 20mins trying to press and defend the way Arteta asks of his midfielders or wingers

Catbiscuits

Sounds like the perfect ESR replacement! 🙂

Uzkido

You can’t be an arsenal fan and not love Santi.

Bukake Saka

You can’t be human and not love Santi.

Tomaury Bischfeld

I thought “maybe not Sp*rs fans” but then again you did say “human”.

Oddo

Ooooooohhh, Santi Cazooooorrrlaaah!

StockholmGooner

I thought as a player and got excited for a second

Andy

Trossard is the closest we have to Carzola since he left.

Emi Rates

I love Trossard.

Ebo

Amazing goal by him vs. Luxembourg. I know it’s Luxembourg, but still. A half volley like that to the opposite corner with almost your back to the goal is impressive against anyone.

JWob

I dunno. Cazorla was something else, both in terms of his play and his joie de vivre.

Teryima Adi

Santiago!!!!!
Blessings on you and yours 🙏🏾

Der32

Sign him up. And sign up his little kid for our academy. I still remember a little boy running rings around the reat of the boys at the Emirates. If he plays anything like Santi, he’ll have a touch of magic. Santi really lit up the Emirates in a special way for me.

Thankyou22

Imagine he comes for a cameo in the Emirates cup?!

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