Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has been one of the Gunners most important players this calendar year, developing his game to play in a deeper role than he is familiar with in order to get the best out of Mesut Ozil.
Now playing alongside Francis Coquelin in front of the defence, Cazorla has emerged as a crucial cog in the Arsenal machine- bridging the defence to the attack, controlling the tempo of the game and building attacking moves from the back.
He has starred for the Gunners in crucial victories this season, notably against Bayern Munich and Manchester United, whilst he continued those performances on international duty as Spain ran England into the ground in Alicante.
Cazorla, a background fixture for the past few years for Spain due to the tremendous midfield duo of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, is now getting his chance and his grabbed the bull by both horns.
As Alex McMahon stated in his article for 888sport, Cazorla ran Michael Carrick ragged in midfield; which was a throwback to Arsenal’s victory over Manchester United earlier this season, where Carrick and the United midfield were outclassed by our Spanish maestro.
At 30-years-old, one of Arsenal’s greatest challenges in the years to come will be trying to replace Cazorla- a test that won’t be easy, as it’s extremely rare to find a player of his calibre and talent that isn’t already tied to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Cazorla is undoubtedly a criminally underrated player amidst Arsenal’s team and in matches where the likes of Francis Coquelin, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez take the plaudits, Cazorla is always there providing stability in the midfield with consistent performances.