The Pros and Cons of Santi Cazorla


First, it was confirmed that he was signed. Then it was denied. Now fans are in limbo if he’s coming or not. Arsenal’s pursuit of Malaga’s Santi Cazorla is now gaining steam; given the latest boost that Arsene Wenger has said his club will be signing more players in this transfer window. For what, fans don’t know who they just know that Cazorla is on the hitlist. But does Arsenal need the Spanish International?

There is no questioning Cazorla’s talent. He might be short, at only 5’9, but he’s stout and full of energy. At 27 years old, he’s full of experience; having played in the ‘other’ top teams in Spain (not Real or Barcelona) Villarreal and Malaga and has proven his worth over a number of years. Its his adaptability that’s sparks excitement, he can play on either wing and also through the centre. He creates more than he scores, but has struck some stunning goals. To top it all off, Cazorla has been a winner before: having the Euro 2008 and 2012 medals around his neck. He would of been part of the 2010 World Cup squad had he not been injured. But it says something of an individual to play a consistent part of Spain’s qualifying, not everyone gets in and Cazorla has always been part of the Spain coach Vincente Del Bosque’s plans.

Would Cazola fit into Arsenal’s style and system? Time will decide that, but fans can see the positives. Having played for Villarreal, Malaga and Spain, who all play a very possession style game similar to the Gunners, Cazorla should adapt to new team’s flow and movement. Given the English pace, he’ll have to adapt to it quickly. The fact that he cuts in from the wing is a positive, given the Arsenal fullbackslove push up and overlap. He can also play in the ‘hole’ behind the sole striker, pinpointing through balls and opening up space. Even if he doesn’t make the starting line-up, Cazorla does offer the Gunners a quality substitute, something they haven’t had for a number of years.

Quality player he might be, would the money for Cazorla be worth it? It’s said that he’s coming for around $15million, which would be decent value for a player whose buy-out clause is $45 million. Yet, he is just another winger and Wenger has a plethora of them in sides. Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Gervinho just to name a few. There is of course the idea to play Cazorla centrally, but he does lack defensive capacities to drop deep and dictate gameplay, like a Mikel Arteta or Aaron Ramsey.

The biggest quarry though, is if Wenger signs Cazorla does that mean he’s used up one of his transfers? Arsenal isn’t like Chelsea or Manchester City, so there is a sense that given Arsenal’s refusal to go on lavish spending sprees, there is a belief that only a number of players are going to come in. If signing Cazorla means that Wenger can’t sign another striker, is he truly worth it? The saga surround RVP is still ongoing and if he does go, wouldn’t another striker be the better transfer as oppose to another attacking winger? Then there is the lack of quality tough man in the centre. The fact that Wenger has said that the injury free Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere are like new signings is a worry. What’s happens if they get injured again? Wenger will be thin again in the centre. Shouldn’t he focus his transfers elsewhere?

Cazorla would be a fantastic addition to the Arsenal squad. He would fit in and add another dynamism to the team. But is he what Arsenal needs? Wenger has a decent record of buying players who attribute to the team’s success. Cazorla might be that spark that the Gunners need to take their game to the next level. Yet he might just be another of those signings where fans think they should of purchased someone else. Only time will tell, if fans will be hailing Wenger’s successful or if they will be cursing him.

Andrew Bishara

For more Football Blogs and opinion from football fans around the world