There is no question that Santi Cazorla was one of our best players last season, and he positively thrived in a new, deeper midfield role alongside Francis Coquelin. That may make it seem somewhat strange to suggest selling the Spaniard this summer, but there may be no better time.
Before I continue, I’d like to stress that I’m not necessarily saying that we definitely should sell Cazorla. I am suggesting however, that there are reasons both for and against, and we should at least look at all options.
Cazorla will be 31-years-old in December, and will be heading into the twilight of his career. He is still a top quality midfielder, but how many years does he have left at the highest level? Experience is valuable, but we are building a team that can challenge for trophies for years to come, and Cazorla won’t necessarily still be at his peak in two or three seasons time.
His value is also likely to plummet soon, and while we aren’t in the position where we are struggling financially, we should still avoid losing our stars for next to nothing. After the season he just had, his value is likely to be at an all time high, and we could potentially even make a profit on a player we signed as a 27-year-old back in 2012.
Most importantly though, despite the former Malaga man’s superb season, I can’t see him playing as big a role in the team in 2015/16. If Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are both fit, I believe Arsene Wenger will want to give both men as much game time as possible.
Ramsey and Wilshere are the future of Arsenal’s midfield, and while I am a huge fan of Cazorla, we need to be nurturing our two younger stars.
There is no way we can risk losing either of the two British core members, so regular first team football needs to be assured. I can’t see Cazorla being content with a place on the bench, and even regular rotation might irk the diminutive playmaker.
Obviously if given the choice, we would want to keep as many top quality players in the side at once. It can be difficult to juggle so many talented players and keep them all satisfied however, and sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the greater good of the team.