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10 facts about Arsenal acquisition Santi Cazorla

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Arsenal announced the signing of Santi Cazorla from Malaga on a long-term contract for a fee reported to be around £16.5m. Here are some facts about the new Arsenal star.

1. Full name Santiago Cazorla Gonzalez, he was born on the 13th December 1984 in Llanera in the region of Asturias.

2. Cazorla is ambidextrous and can comfortably play on either flank. Although primarily a winger, Carzorla is equally adept in central attacking positions.

3. Cazorla is 5ft 6in tall. The shortest players in the Premier League are Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips who stand at 5ft 5in.

4. Cazorla started his career at local club Real Oviedo but moved to Villarreal at the age of 17. He firmly established himself in the Villarreal first-team in the 2004/05 season at the age of 20 making 40 appearances in all competitions.

5. In the summer of 2006, Cazorla left Villarreal and moved to newly promoted Recreativo de Huelva for a club record €4m. Villarreal however triggered a buy-back clause the following summer and Cazorla joined Villarreal for a second time.

6. Santi Cazorla was voted best player of the 2006/07 season by Don Balon magazine for his performances at Recreativo de Huelva. He finished ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi, Iniesta and Xavi. In that season he helped Recreativo achieve 8th place in their first season back in the Primera Liga, scoring 5 goals in 34 appearances.

7. In the summer of 2008, after another impressive season in his return to Villarreal, Real Madrid attempted to sign the player but Cazorla revealed he had rejected the transfer: "There are many other things in football besides Real Madrid. It's clear that it is possible to say "no" to them, There is no doubt that they are a great team, but I also feel very satisfied and valued at my club". "I hope I can continue growing at Villarreal because I am young and I’m only starting off with the national team."

8. Luis Aragones picked the uncapped Cazorla for the Spanish squad that would go on to win the European Championships in 2008. Cazorla made his international debut subsequently on 31st May 2008 in a 2-1 friendly win over Peru and he made further substitute appearances in the competition.

9. Cazorla missed the 2010 World Cup victory due to a hernia but was part of the recent 2012 Euros Spanish squad. He made two substitute appearances and picked up another winners’ medal.

10. Last season, in what would be his final season at Malaga, he scored 9 and made 5 goals in 38 league appearances. He was Malaga’s man of the match in 10 of those games, helping the team to qualify for the Champions League in 4th place. 

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