Santi Cazorla has re-affirmed his desire to stay in north London despite intense speculation linking with a move back to his homeland with Atletico Madrid.
The Spaniard, who has become a key figure in Arsene Wenger’s side since joining Arsenal in August 2012, feels the Gunners have what it takes to build upon their FA Cup victory last season especially with the added boost of their new signings.
The north London club have added Alexis Sanchez to their ranks to bolster their attacking options, while Mathieu Debuchy slots in for the departed Bacary Sagna. The 29-year-old talked up the impact of the acquisitions and brushed off suggestions he was unhappy at Emirates.
He told FourFourTwo:
I feel good, I am staying very happy playing for Arsenal and the team now is more strong with the new players and I hope we win the trophy for the fans.
He also gave an exclusive interview with Spanish news outlet MARCA, where he talked up Arsenal’s chances of winning the title and believes they can take inspiration from Atletico Madrid’s La Liga heroics last season.
He also believes their Wembley triumph in the FA Cup can be a catalyst for future silverware. But understands it will be difficult due to the immense competitiveness in English football.
I have high hopes. The signing of Alexis Sánchez and Mathieu Debuchy shows that the club is building a team to challenge. Hopefully we can lift at least another trophy this campaign.
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Winning the FA Cup altered the type of pressure we’ll be under this season. It unshackled us in a manner of speaking. After so many trophyless years, the tension was getting to the team.
Last year maybe we didn’t quite have enough strength in depth to win the league. We had to deal with injuries to important players, including Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Lukas Podolski, and I had niggling ankle problems. That meant that when push came to shove, we were unable to keep pace with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.
I’m expecting a very open title race. City are the reigning champions; United are going to strengthen in a big way and, since they aren’t in Europe, will be able to focus on the league; Chelsea have made great signings like Diego Costa, Cesc Fàbregas, Thibaut Courtois and Didier Drobga, while Liverpool have proven they are contenders.
Atlético are a good example to follow. They had an incredible season last time out. A lot of people don’t appreciate how hard it is to win the league when you’re up against Barça and Real Madrid.
There is certainly a sense of excitement within the squad that they can achieve big things. Players such as Ramsey, Walcott and Wilshere are beginning to fulfill their immense potential, and it is testament to how well the current squad has gelled that we are able to keep hold of our top players when other clubs come calling.
Sure it’s difficult to point at Sagna, Vermaelen and Fabianski’s situations, but all three were/are governed by their contracts and lack of playing time. We will need Santi immensely this season, especially with Ozil out for the start of the campaign.
Great to hear of his commitment and desire to continue to grow with this exciting Arsenal side.