Predictions for the Spaniard Santi Cazorla's First Season with Arsenal
Arsenal have had a very productive summer transfer window in terms of the team's input. However with the output, things have not been as successful for the team.
The reason for the success is that Arsenal managed to sign three experienced players who would add a lot of offensive firepower to the Gunners' already strong attack.
The negative point of this summer is that Arsenal lost their best player from last season.
Robin van Persie had his best career season last season in which he scored 30 goals to win the Premier League golden boot and managed to captain the Gunners to a third place finish after an absolutely horrendous start to the 2011-2012 campaign.
The prolific scoring Dutchman will head to Arsenal's Premier League rivals, Manchester United. Ultimately, it isn't the ideal situation for the Gunners as it allows the Red Devils to strengthen their already strong squad and increase their chances at winning a title.
This would just make things difficult for Arsenal's title hopes and wishes to win a trophy. For more on that subject, click here.
Now, the three key signings that Arsenal has made will need to have a great first season in Arsenal colors. They have already demonstrated what they are capable of doing in their pre-season match against Cologne. Each of them are starting to establish themselves in their respective positions and will be looking to make positive impacts from those positions.
Position in the Starting Lineup
All three summer signings were featured in the Gunners' final pre-season fixture against Cologne. In that match, we received a preview of what could come to the season and how the new additions could be placed in the Arsenal lineup.
Olivier Giroud did well as a striker, Lukas Podolski thrived near the left flank and in a central position and Santi Cazorla played in a central midfield position.
Cazorla is a very versatile player, so he is likely to play on the flanks as well on certain occasions. He played very well in his position against Cologne; he was dictating play and stringing together various passes that ended up in good chances.
In fact, it was Cazorla who whipped in the corner kick that got flicked on by Per Mertesacker to Thomas Vermaelen, who scored the goal.
Ultimately, Cazorla is going to start many matches for the Gunners next season, and he will be able to be an effective piece of the Arsenal team whether he plays centrally or out wide.
Last season, Arsenal saw many player partnerships established that ended up benefiting the Gunners in each match that they played.
Alex Song managed to connect with Robin van Persie on many occasions, and this link-up resulted in many fabulous goals, of which one of them was the fantastic volley against Everton (click here to see it).
The prolific scoring Dutchman also formed a great offensive partnership with Theo Walcott. Theo made great runs down the right wing and managed to put great passes into the box, and van Persie managed to put his foot on many of those balls.
In defense, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny were forming a great center-back pair in matches last season. They have good chemistry, and the whole defense was defending well when the two center-backs were playing alongside each other.
So, with a creative midfielder such as Santi Cazorla, some midfield-forward partnerships will be bound to form in the upcoming season.
My prediction for Santi Cazorla's partnerships will involve him and Olivier Giroud. Playing in a central role or even out wide, he will be playing many good passes to his fellow strikers, and eventually, a partnership will develop just like van Persie and Song.
I also foresee Cazorla and compatriot, Mikel Arteta, forming an unstoppable midfield duo. In the official Arsenal website, it was reported that Arteta is confident in what Cazorla is capable of doing at Arsenal. He knows what he can do, and so this mutual knowledge is something that helps on the pitch.
Both players have good chemistry and know each other well, which are key components to forming a good partnership.
Cazorla won't have any problems with striking good duos with other fellow Arsenal teammates.
Goals and Assists
In Málaga's successful campaign in the 2011-2012 season, Santi Cazorla was one of the Spanish side's most influential players in the team's success.
He didn't score many goals with the side, but his presence and effect on the pitch was palpable. The Spanish international managed to score nine goals accompanied by a good amount of assists.
With Arsenal, I would expect the midfield maestro to do even better than he did with Málaga. In terms of goals, I foresee that he will score eight or nine goals in his first season. He is a very good distance shooter and free kick taker, so he could score some goals from those kind of opportunities.
In terms of assists, I predict that the Spaniard will produce around 10 assists. Cazorla is a great dribbler and passer, so he has the tools to produce goals from his teammates.
Adaptation to Arsenal's Playing Style
Santi Cazorla was arguably the best Arsenal man in the pre-season match. The midfielder was dictating play throughout the period of time in which he was playing.
He was stringing together many key passes and one-twos and it seemed like he had played with Arsenal for the past few seasons. Cazorla's play seems to be custom-made to be used with Arsenal.
The match in which he featured was just a pre-season friendly, but it certainly is a preview as to how effective he can be as a part of the Gunners team.
I would not expect him to encounter many obstacles in his first season at the Emirates; he will be playing his matches like as if he has been a member of this team for more than one season.
Influence in the Arsenal Midfield
As mentioned in the prior slide, Cazorla was a dictating factor in Arsenal's midfield in his debut. He was making all the key passes and even whipped one in the corner that eventually resulted in a goal by Thomas Vermaelen.
Cazorla seemed at home in the Arsenal midfield in his first match.
Despite it being his debut and only a friendly, this seems like the kind of performance that can be expected from Cazorla throughout the season. He seems very natural when playing in an Arsenal jersey, and this is exactly the kind of progress the Gunners would like to see from one of their summer signings.
Cazorla will have a big influence in the Arsenal midfield and will be making a significant impact each match from his midfield position.
Adjusting to the Premier League and the Big Teams
Up to this point in Santi Cazorla's career, the Spaniard hasn't been exposed to very big teams. In La Liga, Cazorla has faced teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the Premier League has a different pace.
The league is known for its speed and physicality, so that is something that Cazorla will need to adapt to.
However, Cazorla is an experienced player and is ready to bring whatever is in his arsenal to the table, and the skills and abilities he has makes his process of adjusting to the Premier League and the big teams much easier.
With great teammates, of which one is his compatriot Mikel Arteta, becoming a talented player in the Premier League won't be a big obstacle in Cazorla's Arsenal career.
Performances in the Champions League
Santi Cazorla hasn't had much experience in the Champions League, however his performances will be able to make him successful in the 2012-2013 Champions League.
Once he would have adjusted to the Premier League and the fast pace at which football is played, then being a key player in Arsenal's Champions League campaign won't be difficult for the Spanish International.
Ultimately, he will be able to perform fine in the Champions League.
Well, Santi Cazorla will end up being one of Arsenal's key players next season. After losing one of the team's main goal scorers, Cazorla will need to produce many chances for his teammates.
With this, I would expect Cazorla to have a great first season with Arsenal and will be able to flourish in the Premier League. Despite the physicality and speed of the football Cazorla will be playing, there won't be many problems at all for the Spanish international in the upcoming season.
So, do you think Santi Cazorla will have a good, influential first season with Arsenal?
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