Arsenal

Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker, Tomas Rosicky Arsenal Contracts Reportedly Done

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla passes the ball forward during a Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at the Emirates stadium in London, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 .(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2014

Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky are expected to sign new Arsenal deals imminently, according to reports.

The Gunners trio are expected to commit their future to Arsene Wenger's team and will share a joint announcement when all is complete, according to Tom Bellwood of the Daily Mail:

Sportsmail understands that Arsenal and Cazorla, who turned 29 in December, are close to finalising the terms of a contract that will lift his salary to around £80,000-a-week and tie him to Emirates Stadium until 2017.

Cazorla’s new deal is set to be announced as part of a package with senior team-mates Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Tomas Rosicky of Arsenal celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on February 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Rosicky's agreement was previously confirmed by Wenger, who claimed he is "absolutely adamant" the Czech star remains an Arsenal player, reported by David Hytner of The Guardian.

Work still needs to be done on both the Cazorla and Mertesacker deals, but it looks as if Arsenal fans can begin celebrating the extended stays of three important players.

Cazorla's form has improved immensely in recent times. The Spaniard has always slotted nicely into the Gunners' slick passing style, naturally helping play transition from midfield into more attacking areas. Although Mesut Ozil's form has largely been criticised in recent times, Cazorla's quality has shone through.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Per Mertesacker of Arsenal celebrates at the end of the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Four of his five goals this season have come after the start of 2014, recorded by WhoScored.com. Although not blessed with blistering pace or physical qualities, Cazorla's passing, creativity and willingness to drive up the pitch provides Arsenal with an effective attacking outlet just behind Olivier Giroud.

Mertesacker's form has depleted slightly in recent weeks, but the giant German's decision to ink a new deal should have fans extremely relieved. He has settled into a prosperous partnership alongside Laurent Koscielny—both players who received plenty of criticism when lining up alongside other colleagues—keeping Arsenal impenetrable for a large part of the season.

Wenger's team have kept 12 clean sheets so far this campaign, one behind standard-bearers West Ham in that department, per ESPN FC.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney on February 18, 2014 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal also possess the joint-second best overall defensive record alongside Manchester City and Everton in the Premier League, who have conceded 27 goals each this term. At the time of writing, Chelsea lead the way with just 21 goals against in 27 matches.

Uncertainty still surrounds right-back Bacary Sagna, who has also contributed to the North London outfit's sturdy back four, as noted in Bellwood's report. The French full-back is said to be eyeing an exit unless he is granted £100,000 per week, revealed by David Filmer of Metro, leaving Wenger in a perilous position if this turns out to be true.

Having just turned 31, Sagna's best years are coming to an end. It is admirable that Wenger wishes to keep the core of his current team together, but Arsenal may be wise to bring in fresh talent instead of handing the former Auxerre player a new deal.

The situation is only going to arise again within the next couple of years, meaning Sagna's potentially extended stay is a short-term solution to a problem that will need to be addressed in the near future.

 

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