As recently as November, Arsenal fans were continuing to moan about Spaniard Santi Cazorla’s impact at the Emirates, with many still sore after the club failed to re-sign compatriot Cesc Fabregas over the summer.
Motormouth Gooner Piers Morgan gave it chirps after Burnley defender Mike Duff’s last-gasp block prevented Cazorla bagging from four yards in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Burnley three-and-a-half months ago:
I want Cazorla banned from the opposition penalty area with immediate effect. #afc
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 1, 2014
To be fair to narcissistic Brit abroad Morgan, the former Malaga and Villarreal man hadn’t found the net in 15 games prior to the clash with the Clarets, and didn’t manage to again until nine games later in the 3-2 loss at Stoke.
Five in his following nine all-competition appearances saw Cazorla’s stock rise considerably among the north Londoners’ die-hards, including Morgan, who had this to say in mid-January:
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 18, 2015
A touching compliment, but recent reports are strongly linking Cazorla to a move back home, with mooted summer 2014 suitors Atletico Madrid once again thought to be the outfit making all the noise.
Los Colchoneros have made contact with the 30-year-old’s ‘entourage’, according to ubiquitous Sky Sports La Liga expert Guillem Balague, and are confident they can snare a player whose contract will be up in less than 18 months time.
There’s certainly a ring of truth about this rumour, as Cazorla is set to sign the last big contact of his career, given his age.
Former Valencia, Barcelona and Middlesbrough midfielder Gaizka Mendieta recently stated on Sky that Cazorla is the missing piece Diego Simeone’s side need to link attack and midfield, and the 40-cap ex-La Seleccion man believes such a move would ‘work for him’.
All that being said, bwin.com still see Cazorla’s immediate future under Wenger’s wing, going 1/5 that he’s still an Arsenal player by the end of next summer’s transfer window, while 3/1 says he’ll skedaddle before then.