Gunners midfield gem Santi Cazorla has officially left Arsenal today after his contract with the North London giants has expired.
Cazorla joined Arsenal from La Liga side Malaga back in 2012 and was an incredible signing for just £10 million. The Spanish maestro established himself as one of the most gifted and technically brilliant players in the English Premier League. Cazorla became an instant fan favorite as Arsenal’s talisman in the midfield role, tricky and able to play in a deep-lying position.
In 180 appearances for Arsenal across six seasons at the club, Cazorla netted 29 times in all competitions aiding the Gunners to two FA Cups and two Community Shields in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Cazorla will famously be remembered for his crucial free-kick in the 2014 FA Cup final against Hull City which inspired a stunning comeback for Arsenal to lift the trophy.
However, a misfortunate Achilles injury that Cazorla sustained in October 2016 cut short his playing career ever since and the 33-year-old wasn’t able to return for a competitive game since the injury. But Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis sent out a message to the Arsenal fans regarding the departure of the little magician after Cazorla’s contract expired this month.
Gazidis Bids Farewell to Santi-
The 53-year-old stated on twitter, “Santi is always one of my favorite players to watch. His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years. He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club.”
It’s actually a big blow for Arsenal that Cazorla wasn’t able to perform for the club ever since his injury two seasons ago. He was arguably Arsenal’s go-to man and the club have not been playing the same football ever since. Its slightly unfair to the club and the player but I guess both of them have to move on.