All summer long, Arsenal has had it good in the transfer market with news after news of links to top players, spending, buying and signings to either replace or bolster weak areas in the squad. This piece may just not follow the happy and cheery trend that Arsenal fans around the world are fast becoming used to, this here is a deviation from the regular news reports. Today, news reports claim that an audacious move for Arsenal’s pint-sized Spanish play-maker is being prepared by Atletico Madrid. The Spanish Champions are set to revitalize their squad that seem a bit depleted by the transfer of their talismanic forward, Diego Costa and Fillipe Luis to Arsenal’s London rivals, Chelsea.
Santiago Cazorla, who moved to the Emirates two seasons ago, is said to be struggling to settle into the English lifestyle and may be tempted away from London, if Atletico Madrid offer a bid that matches Arsenal’s valuation of him.The 29-year-old is a versatile, ambidextrous attacking midfielder, who can also play as a winger. In the last two seasons for Arsenal, he has used his speed, shooting accuracy, excellent close control and his capacity to change the rhythm of game play, in securing wins for the club. Of note in the very recent past is his game-changing superb goal from a free-kick to bring the Gunners up from a 2-0 deficit, to win Hull City 3-2, in the 2014 FA Cup Final at Wembley. Internationally, Cazorla represented Spain at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, winning both tournaments. He missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa due to injury sustained in the 2009/2010 season but was called-up by Spanish national team coach, Vincente Del Bosque for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, where they failed to make it through to the round of 16.
Atletico Madrid, the Spanish La Liga Champions for the just concluded 2013/2014 football season, has risen in leaps and bounds in the last five years. The Diego Simeone-led team, not only got to the finals of the UEFA Champions’ League losing to City rivals, Real Madrid, but also won the La Liga title at the expense of Spanish heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid, breaking their duopoly of ten years. They won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012, and won the UEFA Super Cup in2010 and 2012, as well.
The Vicente Calderon team has a penchant for very deadly attackers, with players like, Christian Vieri (1997-1998), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (1999-2000), Fernando Torres (2001-2007),Sergio Aguero (2006-2011), Diego Forlan (2007-2011), Radamel Falcao (2011-2013), Diego Costa (2010-2014) and David Villa (2013-2014). Usually, they make stars and are known to quickly sell them. It is in this same manner that they cashed-in on Diego Costa and Fillipe Luis, selling them to Chelsea in deals with combined fee estimated to be around £52m. With cash to spend, Atletico Madrid has made it clear to anyone who cares to listen that, they are prepared to mount a strong challenge for the UEFA Champions’ League and effectively defend their La Liga title. This summer after securing a deal that brought in Frenchman Antoine Griezmann to their club, they have now turned their attention to one of Arsenal’s priced possessions, Santiago Cazorla.
This would come to many Arsenal observers and fans like heartbreak because the frequency of this news in the gossip and rumour sections of newspapers, tabloids and blogs is pretty disturbing. What Arsenal needs now, more than ever, is stability and continuity. Selling Cazorla would amount to releasing a key and exceptional player in the midfield, whose void may be left unfilled for a long time to come. However, there is solace in the fact that, no player is irreplaceable and succour in the news and prospect of getting a fantastic replacement in a fine and younger player like Marco Reus.
Cheer on, fans! It’s looking like a ‘‘win-win’’ situation.