Santi Cazorla has already clarified his role following Al Sadd’s departure for Arsenal.

Santi Cazorla has already clarified his role following Al Sadd’s departure for Arsenal.

There are few players in the modern era, or rather the Emirates era as it’s sometimes called, that have gone down as Arsenal legends the same way the players who played at Highbury have. Yet, for many and myself included, one of those players is Santi Cazorla.

Scorer of a brilliant free-kick in the 2014 FA Cup final against Hull City, the midfield magician picked up another medal one year later in the final with Aston Villa. The Spaniard oozed class and could perform some brilliant touches with the ball and passes to make any viewer wide-eyed.

His time playing in Qatar is now at an end after three years in the middle east. His record with Al Sadd was strong scoring 32 goals in 76 matches, evidence of what the 38-year-old is still capable of.

Arsenal have been looking out for midfield reinforcement this summer and have an agreement over a price for Declan Rice after having already signed Kai Havertz. Adding Cazorla to the group would add some fantastic experience and established quality.

While Cazorla has been open to an Arsenal return, his last words on the topic appeared to make it apparent that an off-field role would be more realistic. Speaking to The Athletic in January, the Spaniard made it clear that his playing days might be completed elsewhere.

“We’ll see,” Cazorla responded. “If I have the possibility to come back, I will be back. I don’t know which position in the club, as a coach or sports director. But of course, I would like to come back in the future.”

It is, therefore, no surprise that Villarreal are reportedly interested in signing Cazorla for what would be a third stint at the club. The Yellow Submarine brought Cazorla in from the Gunners after a major injury ended his time in north London prematurely.

He went on to play a further 86 times and was even recalled to the Spanish national side in which he pulled on the captain’s armband from Sergio Ramos in a 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands in 2019. His form has not dipped and it seems there’s no need to consider retirement if the evidence on the field is anything to go by.

It would be quite the spectacle to see Cazorla back at the club, in what capacity remains, for now, a mystery.

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