The Gunners star summer signing in midfield Santi Cazorla is enjoying life in North London, citing his love for Arsenal’s style of play and the freedom he’s given playing in behind the striker – a position that former captain Fabregas made his own.
The £15 million signing from Malaga has been nothing short of influential since his arrival, capping off promising starts to the season with a goal and assist in the last Premier League fixture against Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger has always been a man of structure and specific responsibilities associated to each player on the pitch especially in midfield, but opted to give Cesc Fabregas more freedom to roam forward when possible and become the supplier for all attacks. Last season Aaron Ramsey was unable to live up to the Spaniard’s unique presence and lacked the cutting edge, while Thomas Rosicky came a little way to filling the ‘fab-gap’ but he suffered injuries all too often.
But Cazorla with his sleek Spanish style is finally a like-for-like replacement for his compatriot and is more than able to fill Fabregas’ boots. He is revelling in his new role with the Gunners, the Spaniard told El Pais:
They have paid an important amount of money for me and the role they’ve given me is the one I like.
I love the style of the team. Wenger’s philosophy is to control the game and I like to be on the ball. Furthermore, the boss has put me in a position, second striker, with all the freedom I want to have.
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He told me to be at ease and that he’d play me where I could most help the team. It surprised me in pre-season when he put me as the second striker.
I’ve come to play on the wings with the freedom to move inside, but Wenger has immediately put me in this position. With Arteta, Diaby, Rosicky and Wilshere, who is recovering from injury, we’re going to have a lot of the ball.
Arteta has advised me a lot, he told me football is much faster and less tactical than Spain. It’s more give-and-go.
Mikel has helped me to learn to see the game and said that if we play rapidly with the ball we’re going to create a lot of danger and we’ll beat most teams.
Wenger wants him [Arteta] now as a defensive pivot and he’s doing it very well. He gives real balance and he can win the ball back and play it out because with the ball he’s spectacular.
Cazorla’s hailing of Arteta is certainly warranted as he is able to win the ball in the Gunners half and distribute forward quickly and efficiently. He always stays on his feet and is solid in his tackles. The Spanish contingent is vital for the Gunners midfield, and I feel the rotation of Wilshere and Diaby will provide the best midfield in the Premier League.
Is Cazorla better than Fabregas? It is too early to say, but he is brilliant on the ball and is more than capable of providing the killer final pass just like his compatriot. Fabregas used to provide the most sumptuous long balls that were inch perfect which is something that Santi has yet provide just yet, and with Giroud excellent in the air it is something that hopefully we can come to see more of from the Spaniard.
But at £15m he was an absolute steal, a very astute signing from Wenger and he will prove to be one of the best midfielders in England this season. What are your thoughts? Do you think Cazorla is Arsenal’s new Fabregas or is too early to say just yet? Feel free to comment below or in allArsenal’s forum under Santi’s thread. (Check out the FIFA 13 trailer below featuring Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dominating Shay Given 😉 )
Fifa 13 Trailer: