Cazorla departure confirmed

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Santi Cazorla surgery

Arsenal have confirmed that Santi Cazorla is leaving the club after six years.

The Spaniard hasn’t played since October 2016 when he picked up an ankle injury that required surgery. That injury turned into a personal nightmare and despite countless operations, including a skin graft to prevent further infection, he never added to his 180 appearances in a Gunners shirt.

It’s fair to say that Santi has been one of the most popular players at the club since he signed from Malaga in 2012.

He could play with both feet, his ability to wriggle out of tight spaces was miraculous and he always had a smile on his face. He was and is the type of footballer you pay to watch. That free-kick in the 2014 FA Cup Final alone will earn him a place in Arsenal folklore.

In the absence of the departed Arsène Wenger, CEO Ivan Gazidis paid the following tribute to the midfielder.

“Santi is always one of my favourite 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.”

Last week, there were a flutter of rumours about Santi joining Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff (should the latter re-join as Head Coach), but it looks like he’s going to give football one last chance. Former club Villarreal are hosting him during pre-season and hopefully he’ll prove he’s worth a deal there.

Realistically, given Santi earns £90,000 a week, there’s also a sense that Arsenal are being practical, especially given this summer’s budget constraints.

Best of luck Santi, you will be sorely missed!

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Stig

This is sooo sad. We`ve been blessed to have him.

Mesut O'Neill

Sad news, but if the budget is as tight as suggested then it makes sense.

Gunta

Blogs hate to be that guy, but we signed him from Malaga and not Villarreal .

Easily my favourite player from the recent times. Gutted he had to be on the sidelines for that long with complications from his surgery. Happy he gets another stab at professional football. It’s what he and the footballing world deserves.

Midgunner

One of the best players I’ve ever seen in an Arsenal shirt.

Just made you smile every time he got the ball. What a talent. Our midfield took a huge dip in quality the day he got injured.

Good luck Santi and thank you!

goonerang

Oh, Santi Cazorla.

Artro

Either the Mandela effect or incorrect info there, thought he signed from Malaga?

Club legend all the same.

Rotty

The loveliest of players. Fit and healthy I’d keep him in a heartbeat even if he only has a year or two left in him.

Wherever he goes, whatever he does, I’ll be going out of my way to watch him play again.

shokim

Bye Santi. Such a shame that he left without playing for us again. That FA Cup Final goal and many others – such unforgettable magic. All the best!

santori

My fav player. It wasn’t the goals but the way he played and moved in midfield that will be remembered. Absolute magician and one of Wenger’s BEST SIGNINGS (with Dick Law) Off of Malaga, a steal for what he is sadly we have not replaced his ability last 3 seasons. Players like him, Diaby (again robbed by injuries) gave us penetration dribbling up the middle and breaking with speed. We lack this ability at the moment. Jack is closest to replicating the capability but Iwobi also shows promise. Still we do ourselves no favours if we don’t get another player… Read more »

Anonymarse

Bugger

Anonymarse

I still cannot thumb up any comments 🙁

GunneRon

Ask any Arsenal player and they’ll tell you Santi is the most skillful they’ve ever played with. Just shows what a great player he was. In fact our failure to secure a top 4 finish in the last 2 seasons coincided with his unfortunate injury. That alone shows how important he was for us. His departure has now left a huge void in midfield which will be hard to replace. Good luck little magician. Thanks for the wonderful memories…. The incredible free kick in the 2014 FA cup final, the masterclass at the etihad and many much more. We wish… Read more »

gunnertron

Santi you will be missed. You get the best out of our best players therefore you were the best!

My Name is Jeff

The last of the Van Persie replacements to leave the club and probably the most beloved. Santi will be missed!

Bould's Eyeliner

Although that’s what they really were in 2013, they clearly became real Gunners, so let’s not call them that haha…

Chippy87

Best of luck Santi!

gunnertron

Unai Emery! surprise surprise!

Anonymarse

Holy shit!!!

Anonymarse

HOLY SHIT!!!!!

mashkeyboardgetusername

The most important thing is: how is his name pronounced? In other words, does “Emerytes Stadium” work?

Fatgooner

BBC REPORTING THAT UNAI EMERY TO BE CONFIRMED AS NEW ARSENAL BOSS THIS WEEK!!

Fatgooner

At least he can win in Europe!!

Finsbury Park Gooner

Probably my favourite Arsenal player of the last decade. Farewell Santi, and thanks for everything. ???

mashkeyboardgetusername

Sad news. Hope he has better luck in future, horribly bad luck with us. He deserves to sparkle on the pitch again, one of the most joyful players I’ve ever seen.

Mark

Santi and Rosicky have been my favorite Arsenal players to watch play. He played with such joy and was so technically talented. A true two footed footballer and did such a great job during his time with Arsenal. I know he’s been through hell the last couple of years and hope for his sake he can continue his career.

I AM ARSENAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLlYHRXDI_Q
That Diaby and Santi Partnership that never got to be..Still one of the most complete midfield performances i have seen from both in that game..In particular Diaby…But Santi was immense also.

Twatsloch

Goodbye Santi. Thank you very much and all the best with your old club.

Jan

Needs a testimonial at the Emirates in a few years so all the fans can say thanks and goodbye.

Vino

I have read this news from arsenal.com with no comments from Arsene Wenger makes me sad. I hate to see Ivan message about Santi when he is not even around the whole time of Santi at the club.

ChrisM

Damnit, Santi was my favourite Arsenal player, I don’t think I realised that until his departure was confirmed.