Santi Cazorla Warns Arsenal He May Leave If They Don't Win Trophies

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Santi Cazorla of Arsenal  reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on April 6, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Santi Cazorla has admitted he is likely to leave Arsenal if the club continues to miss out on silverware.

The Spanish midfielder suggests he will see out the rest of his contract, which expires in 2017, before taking stock of whether the Gunners can offer trophy success, as reported by Nacho Labarga of Sport 360 (h/t ESPN.co.uk):

I want titles and that is why I came to Arsenal. Every football player wants to win titles. We've gone many years without winning one. And if not, what I'll look for in my next destination is to have the chance to win.

I don't want to close doors. When I'm turning 31 I'll evaluate myself and I'll choose the best option. In which case, I would be delighted to come back (to Spain).

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  Samir Nasri of Manchester City and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on March 29, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

At 29 years old, Cazorla is yet to land a significant amount of trophies. Despite helping Spain to their Euro 2012 triumph, his only club medal was achieved with Villarreal's Intertoto Cup victory in 2004. Considering this now defunct competition was a lifeline for teams who failed to reach either the old UEFA Cup or Champions League, he is a serious underachiever.

Cazorla's previous spell at Malaga failed to yield any titles, while his second season with Arsenal remains in the balance. Although Arsene Wenger's side have all but ended their chances of Premier League glory, despite leading for much of the campaign, they are still alive in the FA Cup.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Arsenal fans hold up a sign to mark Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal's 1000th game during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Gunners face holders Wigan Athletic in Sunday's Wembley semi-final. Many expect Arsenal to comfortably swot Uwe Rosler's team aside, but as we saw with Ben Watson's winner during last year's final against Manchester City, the underdogs shouldn't be counted out.

Incompetence in the cup may prove to be a failure too far for Arsene Wenger. "A poll of more than 8,000 Arsenal fans last week revealed that nearly half think that the 64-year-old should leave if he does not win the FA Cup and finish in the top four this season," writes Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail.

Such a disappointment may also convince Cazorla to depart. The current squad are unlikely to receive a greater chance of success as they have done this season, particularly when you consider the flux of their major rivals.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  Santi Cazorla of Arsenal is closed down by Neil Taylor of Swansea City during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Swansea City at Emirates Stadium on March 25, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finne
Julian Finney/Getty Images

David Moyes' Manchester United reign has started terribly and Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea is littered with stutters. Manuel Pellegrini largely has Manchester City firing through his debut campaign, but there's room for improvement. All three should be expected to get stronger across the next 12 months.

Wenger's season is defined by his inability to sign a new striker in January, leaving players such as Cazorla with too much goalscoring responsibility behind Olivier Giroud. Arsenal may exert free-flowing confidence during the good times, but their lack of resiliency renders this redundant during the bad.

Players such as Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie have exited the North London club in search of trophies. All have enjoyed greater success by doing so. Cazorla could signal the next wave of stars ready to jump ship, a process that is likely to be sped up if Arsenal fail to win their first prize in nine years by the time this season ends.