What next for Santiago Cazorla González (the little magician)? by Precious Marho
Hello guys. A few weeks ago Santi Cazorla conducted an interview with the Madrid based outlet, Marca, where he spoke at length about the extent of the awful injury that has plagued him and kept him out of action for over a year. Our little magician had almost lost his foot to gangrene (decay around tissue because of a lack of blood flow to the area) after contracting a dangerous infection. The injury was so severe that the surgeons had to replace the lost skin around his Achilles with a section of tattooed skin from his left arm.
Being one of his more ardent fans, I felt really sad as to what he had gone through. In that interview, he also revealed that he’d be back in January, stating: ‘I do not have clearance till January, but, I will come back by then’. But he won’t be. News broke a few days ago of yet another injury setback- and operation (the NINTH) that he needed to undergo. Evidently, he wouldn’t be back in January. I love Santi Cazorla, the man and the football player. Boy, how we have missed his influence on the pitch! Prior to his injury, all of our good play went through the ambidextrous Santi. With a close control that is unrivalled in the football sphere, he was a joy to behold at times, churning out world class performances every time. I honestly cannot remember a game where Santi never tried. I also think he is one of the better players we have had in the last few years.
Whereas some players *cough* Walcott, have held the club to ransom because of salary demands amidst contract renewals, we have never had that with Santi. He has been a fantastic servant to the club since he arrived from Malaga in 2012, and it is worth stating that despite his undoubted ability, he earns roughly 90,000 British pounds per week- less than Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. Yet, he has never once complained- ever playing with a smile on his face. That’s why with his latest setback, one truly wonders what next for Santi. He’s already 32 and at the terminus of his career, with his contract with the Arsenal due to expire next summer. Even if he does risk it all and come back, he has very limited time at the top level and with the severity of his injury; perhaps it would be better if the little magician called it a day. If anything, so that he can walk after football.
Whilst watching the game against Burnley recently, as we struggled to break down the clarets, the middle aged fan seated close to me remarked as to how a dose of Santi would have sufficed in aiding our exertions. He really is that talented. And so, if he does decide to retire, the onus is on the club to reward his fantastic service, talent and loyalty with a position in some capacity. He’s earned it. Nevertheless, for such a fighter of underrated skill set, I wouldn’t bet against him coming back from his nightmare and starring again for the Gunners. One thing is certain though, whatever you choose to do, Señor Cazorla, we; the Arsenal community, love you and support you. Get well soon.