Arsene Wenger Unsure If Santi Cazorla Has Arsenal Future After Achilles Injury

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla (L) trains on the pitch ahead of the UEFA Europa League first leg semi-final football match  between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 26, 2018. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not sure if Santi Cazorla will have a future at the club after he returned to training following more than a year out with an Achilles injury. 

Cazorla has not played since 2016 because of the injury, which has needed 10 surgeries and a skin graft from his arm, and his contract expires this summer.

Wenger, who will depart the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season, does not know what the future holds for the 33-year-old.

Per James Benge of the Evening Standard, he said: "He feels well. But he needs full preparation in pre-season to try to come back. Will he come back and where? I don't know. Will he stay at Arsenal? I don't know."

Cazorla made a welcome return to training ahead of the Gunners' UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg with Atletico Madrid on Thursday, per BBC 5 live Sport:

Football.London's Charles Watts spoke for Arsenal fans and many in the football community with his reaction to the sight:

The Spaniard's injury—which almost led to the amputation of his foot after it developed gangrene—came just two months after he had returned from a knee ligament injury suffered at the end of 2015.

Despite his misfortune with injuries, the playmaker is optimistic of an impending return, per injury data analyst Ben Dinnery:

Cazorla is a wonderful footballer, who managed to shine in the Premier League despite his diminutive frame thanks to his technique on the ball and creative, intelligent play.

He also won 78 caps for Spain in an era that has also featured the likes of David Silva, Andres Iniesta and Xavi, among others, which is a testament to his ability.

Returning to fitness in the coming months will likely play a significant role in determining whether he can still salvage something from his Arsenal career, but it will be down to Wenger's successor to make that decision.

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