I was talking with an Arsenal fan the other day about Santi Cazorla, and pointed him in a direction of one of the articles posted on our site over the weekend, 'Santi Cazorla is one of Wenger's best ever signings.'
His response? "He's a great player, but you know what, he'll only disappear back to Spain to win trophies in a year or two."
I disagree. Every club has its share of pessimists, and that's natural. It's easy to understand his fears. Arsenal have been without a trophy for seven seasons now, and they have seen a number of their stars depart in recent years.
Their last Spanish midfield maestro was Cesc Fabregas, who did leave to fulfil his ambitions in Spain.
That's where the similarities end. You see Fabregas was plucked from Barcelona's nest as a youngster by Arsenal, and as he grew into the player he is today, playing in La Liga became an itch he simply had to scratch.
Cazorla on the other hand has been there, scratched that. He has played his whole career in La Liga so far, and has now flown the nest himself.
His talent can transform Arsenal's fortunes, and especially good for the Gunners, is his age, 27. The club have signed a genuine star at his peak, rather than losing one as they have become accustomed to.
The Spaniard, like Arsenal, has a point to prove. He is absolutely good enough to have starred for Spain during their recent run of international success, but has been denied the opportunity thanks to the simply astounding levels of competition.
Iniesta, Xavi, and Xabi Alonso are competitors capable of keeping out almost any midfielder in football history from a team, so Cazorla should not be so disheartened.
The problem he has had, is that he has always felt slightly inferior, simply because he has not been playing his club football at one of the two Spanish giants of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Real Madrid were linked with him a year ago, and may have snapped him up, had it not been for the millions being splashed out by Malaga. Fortunately for Arsenal, the club experienced serious, but seemingly now temporary cash flow problems this summer, and had to sell their prized asset to solve them.
Now in North London, he is ready to kick on with his career. Speaking about his recent increased involvement with the Spanish national team, he has stated that his move to Arsenal is partly responsible, helping him get noticed.
He has settled straight into life at the Emirates, earning a whole new legion of plaudits, and bagged his second Arsenal goal away at West Ham last weekend.
Clearly thrilled about the switch, he will be determined to give back to Arsenal, and that will mean helping the side deliver silverware.
He has become the heartbeat of the Arsenal midfield, the orchestrator of their reinvented attack, and will play a key part in defining their next few years.
For make no mistake, he is here for the long haul. These next three years will be the very best of his career, in which he is also yet to land silverware. He is unscarred by the previous seasons of Arsenal's recent past, talented, and motivated.
Supporters should be full of hope that he can help the club achieve their ambition, it is no guarantee they will, with competition and the spending power of their rivals stronger than ever, but on the pitch and with the returning Jack Wilshere, Arsenal are beginning to form a formidable looking side.
Are you excited about Arsenal's future?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald