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Santi Cazorla's Arsenal Influence in Stats and Graphics

Images via Arsenal.com
Images via Arsenal.com
James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2013

Santi Cazorla lit up the Premier League in his first season in an Arsenal shirt.

Within a year of his arrival in English football, Cazorla found himself being voted as Arsenal's official Player of the Season by a considerable margin.

Not since the initial arrival of Andrey Arshavin has a player quite so small had quite such a big impact. Arsenal fans will be hoping that, unlike Arshavin, Cazorla is able to sustain his performances for years to come.

Cazorla certainly seems to have the attitude for hard graft. No Arsenal player played more games than the Spaniard in 2012/13. Cazorla started 47 games, appearing in 49.

He was also the only Arsenal player to play a part in every single Premier League game. In those 38 matches, he was rarely afforded a chance to come off for a rest:

However, it's not durability that Cazorla has become renowned for, but quality.

Cazorla's extraordinary technique has been particularly evident in his remarkable two-footedness. Of his 12 Premier League goals, seven were scored with his supposedly weaker left foot.

This stat, provided by Squawka.com, has a logical explanation. Defenders and goalkeepers expect Cazorla to favour his right foot, so exploiting his ambidextrous nature to use his left gives him the element of surprise.

His ability to shift in either direction also gives him an advantage when dribbling in tight spaces. Cazorla was successful in the vast majority of his attempts to take on defenders, and actually won a surprising number of aerial duels for such a short man.

Cazorla's goals brought variety not just in terms of how he struck them, but also where he struck them from.

The Spaniard added a new long-range threat to the Arsenal team, scoring twice from outside the box.

Cazorla is also an unselfish player.

He contributed 11 Premier League assists, meaning he was nearly as productive for others as he was for himself.

Although Cazorla frequently found himself deployed on the left, more than 50 percent of the chances originated in a central berth, suggesting that is where he is at his most effective.

Sometimes stats can't account for the sheer influence a single player can have on their club's fortunes.

Throughout 2012/13, Cazorla was an inspirational figure.

Last season, the diminutive Cazorla was head and shoulders above the rest of his Arsenal teammates.

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