As announced on the club’s official website, Arsenal successfully tied Spain international Santi Cazorla to new long-term deal at the Emirates on Friday.
The Gunners have been fairly quiet this summer on the transfer front, with the only notable addition being that of Czech Republic international goalkeeper Petr Cech, who joined from Chelsea.
Many Premier League observers feel the shot-stopper’s acquisition is the best signing the Gunners could have made this summer, yet keeping hold of Cazorla is arguably more defining.
The former Malaga man experienced a wonderful 2014-15 campaign, yet his future beyond this summer was rather uncertain, with the Mirror among many outlets reporting strong interest from Atletico Madrid.
Los Colchoneros' widely-publicised interest leading up to the summer came as no real shock, especially considering the impact Cazorla has had on the North Londoners since joining the club in 2012.
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Cazorla has created a whopping 241 chances in 106 Premier League appearances, an average of more than two per match.
Moreover, the 30-year-old’s 30 Premier League assists is a division best - no other player has posted as many since the playmaker made his Arsenal debut in 2012.
The midfield was often labelled as a problematic area for Arsene Wenger’s side, yet in Cazorla and the defensive-minded Francis Coquelin, the Gunners arguably boast the best duo in England.
So good has their partnership been since the turn of the year, crowd favourites Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have had to settle for a different role in the starting XI, or even a place on the bench.
Striking the right balance between defence and attack is crucial in today’s game, and that is why it was so important to the club’s upcoming Premier League title tilt that Cazorla stayed on for the challenge.