Santi Cazorla: Assessing His Chances of Success at Arsenal
How does he play? What's his position? How can Arsene Wenger utilise him to maximum effect?
Let's break down what you can expect from the Gunners' latest signing.
What's His Style?
Cazorla can be defined as a "false winger"—someone who plays in a position similar to David Silva or Samir Nasri.
He's not a chalk-on-your-boots winger like Gervinho, nor is he a central attacking playmaker like Shinji Kagawa. He's somewhere in the middle of all that, floating in menacing positions and always making himself available to receive the ball.
In some ways, he plays a wide position like Eden Hazard did for Lille, and he's an absolute nightmare to defend against.
Possible Starting XI
Theo Walcott is an inconsistent performer, and with contract negotiations going badly, it's wise of Wenger to take out some cover on the right side.
Cazorla is more than cover; he's a starter from the start if he's fit.
Expect Arsenal to line up on the opening day with a completely new-look forward line.
Cazorla is a different player to Lukas Podolski—the German will sit wide on the touchline and cut inside to make things happen, whereas Cazorla floats dangerously on the shoulder of the full-back and goes square-on with him.
This gives him the ability to go down the line or inside and isolate the full-back whichever way he chooses—his positional sense is superb and this clever movement allows him freedom of the pitch.
Walcott needs to buck up his ideas. He's demanding too much money to stay considering his limited technical talent. With Cazorla's signing, the Englishman faces a fight to even land a starting spot.
Cazorla is a huge upgrade on Walcott. He's better in front of goal, better at passing, better riding the challenge and far superior in tight, compact spaces.
The Spaniard is set to be a huge hit at the Emirates Stadium just like his compatriot Mikel Arteta. What a wonderful signing he is.
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