Speaking to the club’s official website ahead of the new campaign, forward Theo Walcott believes Arsenal have made an astute decision in renewing the contract of midfielder Santi Cazorla.
The Spain international was entering the final two years of his previous deal and his future became the subject of reported interest from Atletico Madrid, as reported by the Mirror.
Cazorla is widely tipped to return to La Liga one day, yet for now the Gunners still feel he has a big part to play in the club’s immediate future, and thus successfully renewed his deal at the Emirates.
Along with the signing of Petr Cech, Walcott feels tying down the former Malaga man was a big plus ahead of the new season and cited his impact since making his debut as being among the Premier League’s best.
“My little buddy Santi! Looking at his stats, assist-wise he has been among the best in the Premier League for the last four years. Having him in the team [is great],” Walcott explained.
"He’s blessed, he’s a fantastic player and can play left or right footed. To continue playing football with him is a nice partnership.”
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats above, Cazorla has been an instrumental signing for the Gunners, with his creativity and goal threat a real feature of his game.
Aside from the 23 goals he has netted in the past four years, the 30-year-old has 30 assists to his name and a total of 241 chances created – the most by any Premier League player since his arrival in 2012.
Playing alongside the more defensive-minded Francis Coquelin, Cazorla gives Arsene Wenger’s men a real sense of balance in midfield and the perfect platform for the club’s more attacking players.