The little Spanish magician Santi Cazorla left Arsenal with little fanfare after missing out on two years of action while his nightmare ankle operations were failing regularly due to a bacteria that was eating his skin. He was getting close to recovery at the end of last season, and he was very keen to come back to Arsenal, for pre-season at least, to see if he could win his place back along with a new contract. But when he was asked what Arsenal’s answer was, he said: “No, they didn’t want to.
“They were very good, very honest. My idea was to do at Arsenal what I eventually did here. I knew whoever was going to sign me would have to see me first: nobody just gives you a contract. Pre-season with Arsenal, let them see me, then we all decide. But they couldn’t wait to finalise the squad. They said they’d help any way they could otherwise. I understood it, respected it. I’m eternally grateful.
“The people love me there and I’ll always have a connection with Arsenal, so much affection. Not being able to say goodbye playing at the Emirates is like a thorn in my side. If I had to leave, I wanted it to be in front of the fans.”
We were hoping at least to see him play five minutes of Wenger’s last match, but he didn’t even get that chance to say goodbye to the Arsenal fans.
He went back to his old club Villarreal, and recovered so well that he has started all three of their opening games. In hindsight, should Arsenal have given him another chance?