It’s been announced by Arsene Wenger today that whilst Arsenal have good news in Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez rejoining the squad for pre-season training, we will however be waiting on the fitness of Arsenal fan favourite Santi Cazorla going into the new season.
Arsenal’s midfield maestro, who has been at the club since 2012, has gone on to become one of the first names on the team sheet when fully fit. Cazorla possesses real quality in both breaking down play and creating an attack. It makes the Spaniard a real asset to Arsenal’s midfield, however, sadly we will once again be sweating on his fitness this season. In the last domestic campaign, Arsenal were without Cazorla for six months of the year and the team really missed not having him in the midfield. Cazorla finally returned to the starting XI in the final game of last season and instantly showed what quality we had missed throughout the campaign.
Having not gone to Euro 2016 with Spain, Arsenal fans were looking forward to having a full fit Cazorla starting the season hitting the ground running. However Arsene Wenger has delivered the news that we will have to be patient with Cazorla at the beginning of the campaign, due to a lack in physical fitness. Wenger said: “He is our technical security in midfield and we missed him for five or six months last season. At the moment he is not completely there on the fitness front. That’s why I took him off at half-time.
“He’s a bit behind the others physically but I think he will be alright, maybe not on August 15th, but at the end of August he should be alright.”
It’s understandable that Cazorla wouldn’t be of total fitness because in fairness he only just returned to full first team training a few weeks before the end of the season and then had a long summer holiday off by not going to Euro 2016. That means despite the last few weeks of the season, Cazorla hasn’t participated in too much physically demanding football in over 8 months.
Although I’m sure we all cannot wait for Cazorla to be an Arsenal regular in midfield again, I understand why Wenger is fairing on the side of caution. If we want to be at our strongest this year, we need to make sure players like Cazorla aren’t rushed back to fitness and subsequently become injured.
Who do you think will be replacing Cazorla forthe first few games of the season?