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Arsenal have added the versatile attacking qualities of Santi Cazorla to their line-up as the Spaniard completed his Â£15 million move from Malaga on Tuesday. The 27 year old emerged as a surprise target for the Gunners recently, with rivals Tottenham the first to show an interest in the player. But despite arriving late on the scene, Arsenal moved quickly to reach a deal with the debt-ridden outfit to make probably the shrewdest purchase of the summer so far.
Cazorla flew into London at the weekend to complete a medical, where he also agreed to a four year contract with a weekly pay of Â£70,000. He has already been whisked away to Germany to prepare for a training camp ahead of the Gunners' last pre-season friendly with Lukas Podolski's former side FC Cologne.
Arsenal manager ArsÃ¨ne Wenger was understandably delighted with the signing and told the club's official website: "Santi Cazorla is a great signing for us. He is a player with good experience at both club and international level, who will add significant quality to our squad.
"He is a versatile, attacking midfield player who can play comfortably on either side of the pitch or centrally. He has good pace, is technically gifted and will be a huge asset to Arsenal Football Club. We are delighted that he is joining us."
Cazorla chipped in, "The Club has one of the best managers in football and their style of play is recognised and admired all over the world. I'm so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League. I will do my best to help Arsenal challenge for trophies and make all the supporters happy."
Cazorla also shared that he spoke with former Gunners Cesc Fabregas and Robert Pires before making the move, and unsurprisingly both men backed his decision.
Cazorla comes with excellent bona fides as he has twice lifted the European Championship with Spain. He has been one the more consistent performers in La Liga over the last few years, pushing his former club Villarreal to great heights. But he hasn't garnered universal acclaim due to his presence outside the top two of Barcelona and Real Madrid. He spent a total of 7 seasons with the Yellow Submarine before jumping to Malaga for Â£15m last summer. His goal-return might not be the most impressive though, 32 in the last five La Liga seasons. But the Premier League could be the stage that he has been craving for and we could well witness the blossoming of an outstanding talent.
He could be Arsenal's David Silva, a sprightly attacker in a very European mould. He can play down the middle or out on the wings, with the added advantage of being two-footed. Also blessed with a great first touch and low centre of gravity, Arsene Wenger has added a player capable of making a huge difference in the final-third, an area that has been left empty since Cesc Fabregas' departure. Arsenal bought Andrei Arshavin for similar reasons a few years back, but after a great start the Russian faded away. The same will not apply to Cazorla as he is a far more disciplined player, who chips in with his share of defensive work too.
Wenger has broken away from a lot of his traditional methods this summer as he has gone for experienced Internationals. Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Cazorla and possibly Nuri Sahin all come with plenty of games under their belt and will be expected to make an immediate impact. The club have been accused of lacking ambition after an entire squad of talented players have disappeared over a period of time. But this could finally be the year when the Gunners roar back to life and in the process edge closer to ending their long trophy drought.
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