Gunners legend Martin Keown, who is now a sports journalist specializing in Arsenal, believes Santi Cazorla is a massive talent after being thoroughly impressed with the Spaniard’s contributions.
The former Malaga midfielder has come on in strides during his opening two matches for Arsenal and many comparisons have been made with former Gunners captain and compatriot Cesc Fabregas.
Last season the Gunners struggled with filling the attacking midfield role after the departure of Cesc Fabregas and $amir Na$ri, as Ramsey lacked the finesse and experience with Rosicky often out injured.
Gooners alike are finally happy with the new CAM as it feels like Wenger finally has a replacement for Fabregas, and now Keown has further fueled the excitement by stating the little Spaniard is better on the ball than his Barcelona counterpart.
Keown wrote for the Daily Mail:
Arsene Wenger has seen a few creative players leave in the past year but he has a new jewel in the crown in Santi Cazorla.
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The Spaniard looks a fantastic talent and his class is there for everyone to see straight away.
He is Liam Brady and Cesc Fabregas rolled into one: he has Brady’s shooting ability and Fabregas’s vision. He’s better than Fabregas with the ball too – he moves it so quickly, which is shown by the fact he’s had more touches in the opposition half than any player so far this season.
Watching him, it is difficult to tell sometimes if he is right or left-footed, as he is so comfortable with both.
Straight away, Cazorla has taken on the role of lieutenant in the Arsenal midfield. He is happy to receive the ball anywhere, he’s taking all the free kicks and his vision is superb.
Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski will know that if they make the right runs, Cazorla will find them.
He is tough to defend against too as if you close him down, he’ll thread a ball through to the strikers and if you back off, he’ll shoot.
What is certain is that with him in the team, Arsenal will create a lot of chances.
The former defensive hardman also expressed his liking for the two other new signings Podolski and Giroud, stating that the goals will come for the duo, especially with the influence of Cazorla on their side.
This influence is certainly justified with the Spanish international setting up the most goal scoring opportunities in the opening weekend fixtures, and now tops the charts for the most touches in the opposition’s half this season:
Cazorla (Arse)- 167
Hazard (Chel)- 160
Toure (ManC)- 142
Mata (Chel)- 131
Arteta (Arse)- 122
Let’s also not forget that Hazard and Mata have played three matches, which makes the achievement all the more impressive, even more so for Arteta who has played a deeper role in the wake of Song’s departure.
If Wenger can sort out a purely defensive midfielder such as M’Vila before the window closes then the two Spaniard’s Arteta and Cazorla will form a strong attacking partnership from the heart of the team.
The 27-year-old will also soon find his scoring boots and contribute many assists this season. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Cazorla is better all round than Fabregas, but he is a brilliant replacement and is very solid, quick and controlled on the ball as Keown outlined.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Keown’s opinion? Feel free to comment below or in the allArsenal forum under Cazorla’s thread. Register and Comment to go in the draw to win Arsenal’s new away kit!