Reports in the Spanish media have once again surfaced suggesting Arsenal’s diminutive locksmith Santi Cazorla is wanted by Atletico Madrid.
The La Liga champions have long harboured an interest in the 29-year-old and are thought to be readying an £18m bid.
If an offer is made, it’s believed that the 63-cap La Furia Roja international is keen for his club to accept, but the Gunners will be reluctant to lose the man who assisted eight Premier League goals last term.
Stationed in any of the three attacking midfield berths behind the north Londoners’ lone striker, the ex-Villarreal and Malaga man averaged 2.2 key passes per game and boasted an 86.3 per cent pass completion rate in 2013/14.
Replacing a player with such stellar creating stats won’t be easy, but Arsene Wenger should sanction a deal if Los Colchoneros come calling…so long as he can get his paws on Arda Turan.
The Turkish winger isn’t as adept a creator as Cazorla, but he’s not far behind in the conjuring department and offers much more as far as industry is concerned.
In league action Turan plundered three goals and laid on four more for his teammates, but his adaptability to switch wings and track back when Atleti were under pressure was a key factor in their building of the best defence in the Spanish league.
Arsenal’s lack of attacking midfielders who are willing to run back and help their full-backs, amongst other things, proved costly in many of their big-game batterings last season, most notably their 6-0 loss at Chelsea.
The Atleti star chipped in with 1.8 tackles per outing on average, as well as one interception when his adversaries were in possession.
An improved work ethic and determination could be the difference maker in Arsenal’s pursuit of Premier League glory next season and recruiting players with Turan’s mettle is essential this summer.
Cazorla turns 30 in December and won’t command such a meaty fee in the coming years, so if Wenger can shoehorn Atleti’s Turkish terroriser into the deal, they should most definitely sell.