According to Sky Sports and Arsenal.com, the Gunners have officially signed Santi Cazorla. The club has confirmed the deal, and while no figures have been released, Sky Sports speculates that Cazorla is now Arsenal's record signing, thanks to a fee around £16 million.
Cazorla is worth the investment, and his arrival is the highlight of a highly productive transfer window for manager Arsene Wenger. Just one year removed from some frantic, deadline day, bulk buying, Wenger has now landed three accomplished internationals who are sure to be major contributors this season.
Cazorla joins strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud as part of a hefty spending spree by Wenger's standards.
Many fans and pundits have been calling for this level of investment for some time.
With a squad regularly depleted by injuries and star players demanding lucrative moves away, Wenger has been prepared to take drastic steps to construct a genuine title contender. Cazorla is the key addition in this process.
The 27-year-old is the exact kind of creative player with flair that Wenger needs for his brand of free-flowing, attacking football. Cazorla is the natural playmaker Arsenal missed last season after the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
The ex-Malaga man has the ingenuity and technique to act as the fulcrum of Arsenal's attacking play. His arrival boosts the quality of a midfield group featuring injury-prone duo Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky and which is still reeling from the prolonged absence of young dynamo Jack Wilshere.
Yet the midfield will remain strong if Cazorla forms an exciting partnership with fellow Spaniard Mikel Arteta. Their intelligent movement and distribution will improve the style and consistency of Arsenal's possession game.
Most importantly, the deal for Cazorla shows Arsenal being bold and decisive in the transfer market. At a time when the club's ambition has been questioned from outside and within, signing Cazorla is a defiant rebuttal to the doubters and proof of Arsenal's ability to contend for major trophies.
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