Santi Cazorla Gets His Arsenal Career off to a Good Start

Matthew Snyder@schnides14Analyst IIIAugust 8, 2012

Santi Cazorla had barely seen the ink dry on his new Arsenal contract before he was packed and headed for Germany with his new teammates for the summer's final preseason training trip.

Arsenal play FC Cologne on Sunday—the former club of another of this summer's signings, Lukas Podolski—but Cazorla will command a great deal of attention should he feature at the RheinEnergieStadion.

Wednesday's training round—the second day of work in Germany—consisted of two separate sessions that Gunners winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tweeted were grueling enough to make his legs "stiff" afterwards.

But it was a good showing for the 27-year-old Cazorla, scorer of nine league goals last season for Malaga.

Chris Harris, news editor for Arsenal's official site who is in Germany with the club, tweeted that "Cazorla looks really good, technically brilliant."

The Spanish international's technical proficiency is readily apparent within minutes of perusing his many YouTube highlight videos, and it is reassuring to see that he has taken so quickly to his new surroundings.

Cazorla said that a number of ex-Gunners—including Robert Pires, Cazorla's former teammate at Villarreal, and Cesc Fabregas, his compatriot and fellow member of the national team—encouraged him to take advantage of the opportunity to sign for Arsenal.

Pires in particular told Cazorla that he "would love London." While the £16.7 million signing—a club record—hasn't had too much time to acclimate himself to his new city, that will come shortly.

Whether he enjoys the same fast start to life in the Premiership that has been seen from the likes of fellow Spanish midfielders Juan Mata (Chelsea) and David Silva (Manchester City) will become evident once Arsenal's season begins on Aug. 18 against Sunderland.

Silva was the toast of the 2010-11 season, Mata the ensuing campaign. Perhaps Cazorla can make it three in a row.


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