Santi Cazorla has been phenomenal for Arsenal since his transfer from Malaga back in 2012, but former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp claims he almost signed the Spaniard back in 2010, as reported by the Evening Standard.
The 30-year-old was really the first of our marquee signings, despite the fact that the fee we paid for him was very reasonable – Arsene Wenger taking advantage of Malaga’s financial difficulties.
He really changed things at the club, enjoying an unbelievable debut campaign. But how different things could have been if Redknapp had have lured him to White Hart Lane in 2010.
“Santi Cazorla was very nearly a Tottenham player well before he joined Arsenal in 2012,” Redknapp said.
“He was fantastic against us for Villarreal in a pre-season friendly in July 2010. I went up to Everton to watch him play again a week later and then we spoke to Villarreal.
“Santi wanted to come. He was happy to join Spurs but there was a breakdown in talks over the fee. The deal was almost done but it got lost somewhere in the negotiations between Tottenham and Villarreal.
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“It was a transfer that could and should have been done. He ended up being another one who got away.”
Cazorla arguably hasn’t ever found the form he showed during his first season at Arsenal, but he has still been a hugely important part of our side.
The former Villarreal midfielder has thrived in a new deeper role this season, and has discovered a fantastic partnership with Francis Coquelin. He also has an excellent understanding with Mesut Özil, and typifies the Arsenal ideology.
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It’s hard to imagine Cazorla playing for Tottenham, and his career has certainly benefited from being at Arsenal instead. Joining Spurs may have seemed appealing five years ago, but there’s no question he made the right decision by making the Emirates switch two years later.