It took a while, but eventually, the financial problems of his Spanish club led him and them to agree and strike a deal with Arsenal, sending Spanish international Santi Cazrola to the Premier League from struggling Malaga CF for £15 million.
It was only a matter of time. Malaga’s owner is simply cutting every expense he has, and it’s impossible to balance a budget without too much income coming in from fans, merchandise and endorsements (not to talk about the unfair Spanish TV deal) and not let players go. Malaga are letting everyone of even some repute leave, and there’s isn’t that much room for haggling as it’s known that their running out of business.
Still, Arsenal played quite a hefty price, on of the club’s highest in history for the multi-task winger who enjoyed the best season of his career with Malaga, helping the club achieve it’s highest league position ever, finishing four in the La Liga. Cazrola scored a career high 9 goals in 34 matches for Malaga, aiding the club make it to the Champions League qualifying rounds. They probably won’t do too good there from the looks of things.
Cazorla’s arrival has another effect on the Arsenal squad – It seems to have convinced Robin van Persie that Arsenal are set on winning titles in the very near future or at least challenging for them, and he’s moving more and more towards finally deciding he’ll stay with the club for a longer term than just next season. He hasn’t signed an extension yet, but the signs are looking better than they have for the last couple of months.
Arsene Wenger made an announcement that was pretty much describing how good Cazrola is and will be for the club – Santi Cazorla is a great signing for us. He is a player with good experience at both club and international level, who will add significant quality to our squad. “He is a versatile, attacking midfield player who can play comfortably on either side of the pitch or centrally. He has good pace, is technically gifted and will be a huge asset to Arsenal Football Club. We are delighted that he is joining us.
Cazorla himself made the usual sucking up comments to the club and its fans – I’m so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League. I will do my best to help Arsenal challenge for trophies and make all the supporters happy.
Cazrola isn’t the last of Arsenal’s planned signings this summer, with just under two weeks before the 2012-2013 Premier League season begins. Arsenal are among a few clubs chasing Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin, who is now no longer a loan target but free to leave for the right price according to Jose Mourinho.
Update – We’ve got our first shot of Santi Cazrola as an Arsenal player.