¡Santi Cazorla – Bienvenido al Arsenal FC!

santi cazorla - arsenal

Sometimes, maybe all Arsène Wenger needed was only a swift kick to the butt to make sure that he signs the right players. I was also musing about the fact that it’s probable that Robin van Persie did and said all the things he had so that his manager would sit up and take the right sort of action. Still, it’s more of Wenger’s action rather than a reaction to the RvP saga alone. The club should not be subject to another Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas epic battle and this time, the club had done the right things to rectify the problem areas before they become acute.

First up is to solve the dependency on one player to score goals. Yes, this means that RvP looks increasingly likely to leave by the minute. Wasn’t this already apparent during the Olivier Giroud signing? But the club had tied-down a star from FC Köln and the French Ligue 1 top scorer last season, so it’s nice to see some of these names ready to take over RvP’s responsibilities which he now intends to shirk. 

Next, our creative department is somewhat lacking in imagination – an occasional Alexandre Song long pass here and there, some nice work by Tomáš Rosický, some fabulous goals from Mikel Arteta were all nice to see but we hadn’t counted on a mercurial Andrey Arshavin to lose form so quickly nor did we recover from the loss of some of our better players effectively. Signing Santi Cazorla, though, won’t immediately solve all of Arsenal’s problems. Remember that the team usually had no solid Plan B in case the quintessential sole game plan fails. Without proper link-up with teammates to execute some defence-breaking maneuvers, it’d be back to square one. Still, Santi’s versatility at different attacking positions would keep opponents guessing as to his actual role. Add Giroud and Lukas Podolski (who can also play in a variety of forward roles) to the mix and defenders would have a hard time trying to man-mark these people. Then, up pops Arteta or whoever to score. Brilliant. This new signing could also score from set-pieces, so his presence in the team adds another dimension to the Gunners’ attacks.

Finally, we have signed another seasoned campaigner with 45 caps and 6 goals for ‘La Furia Roja’. This time, the fans are not treated to another gifted but relatively raw recruit from someplace in Europe. These are the sort of signings that the fans love and crave for – a player from a strong national team in the world and one that the media actually pays attention to.

He lacks the height, though, which would draw unhelpful comparisons with a certain rotund Russian player but I think that he plied his trade in La Liga which is, other than a two-horse race between white and the blaugrana, a rather competitive league for those playing for Champions League qualification spots.   

Having Mikel Arteta in the team helps him settle down in London, no doubt and with the enthusiasm of fellow new signings, I won’t mind saying that Robin van Persie would actually feel that he’s got more to lose if he leaves the club during such an exciting time. Only last season, the Cesc / Nasri saga had condemned the club to an awful curtain raiser but morale should be high this time round.

Players would leave the club, for sure – the player shrouded in mystery that is Park Chu-Young, the farce that is Sebastien Squillaci, and the joker that is Nicklas Bendtner. I somewhat hoped that Park would stay, not for the now meaningless purpose of shifting more Arsenal jerseys in South Korea, but because he does have the talent. I’m disappointed that Squillaci’s reputation would be better served by him plying his trade in the French league than the EPL – he was such a fine player for Monaco during the club’s 2003/2004 Champions League run-up to the Final against ‘Special One’s’ FC Porto. I’m also actually quite sore that the giant Dane would be leaving – which Gooner could ever forget his winning header against the Spuds in the 2007 / 2008 season?

In latest rumours today for the Arsenal, the club had apparently readied a tempting but largely questionable bid for Korean midfielder, Ki Sung-Yueng. I don’t know who writes these stories but wherever and whenever Arsenal scouts turn up at any clubs, the media tongues would start speculating transfer fees and so on. Still, Park Chu-Young’s somewhat modest transfer fee last year presented a more realistic valuation for someone as frugal as Wenger, not the £9million price tag being bandied around. Of course, these stories would not be easily laid to rest – Celtic FC has just lost a good deal of potential TV revenue with the Old Firm derby matches missing for this upcoming season and for a talented player like Ki, this presents a good opportunity to test new waters.

The papers have also been abuzz quite awhile with a Real Madrid player – Nuri Sahin. I’ve managed him before in one of the Football Manager games for Feyenoord Rotterdam and this is as far as my familiarity with his name goes. He was also a rather better-known player for current German champions Borussia Dortmund some time ago. Other than that, you’d need to refer to other sources to see what the fuss was all about signing this German-born Turkish player on loan or how and why the boss thinks that he’d make a decent signing for the club.                



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