[Transfer Targets] Low Down On Arsenal Target Santi Cazorla
Arsenal have reportedly targeted Euro 2008 winner and Spain international Santiago Cazorla Gonzalez as a possible replacement for Samir Nasri, after Nasri allegedly told team-mates that he will leave the club after running down his contract.
Whilst we know that Arsenal are definitely in the market for a defender after having a bid rejected for Phil Jagielka, Wenger will definitely want to sort out a contingency plan should Samir Nasri still be intent on leaving this time next year and but would Santi Cazorla be a suitable, like-for-like replacement in midfield to fill the hole left by the diminutive French midfielder?
What’s his pedigree?: After graduating from the Villareal B side in 2004, Cazorla had a number of indifferent seasons with the first team and was loaned out to Recreativo, supposed relegation fodder, so that he could prove himself. This proved to be the making of Santi who led them to eighth place in La Liga and the 26-year-old attacking midfielder Cazorla has scored 13 in 34 for the Spain first team and has netted an average of a goal every 5.9 games since his return to Villareal. Standing at 5’8″, ambidextrous Cazorla is happy to play on either wing or as an attacking midfielder and this versatility makes him an attractive option for many top clubs aside from ourselves, including Liverpool, Real Madrid and another club under Arab ownership, Malaga.
How’s the chemistry?: One would expect Cazorla to play on the left-wing or in the centre of midfield in a typical 4-3-3. There are no doubts about Cazorla’s ability but like many of our players, he has an unenviable injury record with serious problems in two of the last three seasons. In addition to this Arsenal may be reluctant to sign yet another short midfielder and may opt for a taller, more physical, commanding midfielder in the Patrick Viera mould.
Do we have a chance?: This rumour seems better founded than many like it as it was reported as early as February that Arsenal were tracking Cazorla and once again The Sun said that we were looking at him, but we had pegged the Villareal man as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas which he patently isn’t. This transfer does however seem unlikely as Wenger has reiterated the need for another defender and looks to be busy trying to sign a centre-back. Malaga look to be leading the chase for Santi after having a bid rejected this summer and having much more financial power than Arsenal.
Likely bid: £15 million. Probability: 3/10, very unlikely if Nasri stays for another year.
Submitted by clockendview – just another Arsenal blog
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