Santi Cazorla, full name Santiago Cazorla González, joins Arsenal for an undisclosed fee from Malaga. He was a key part of the Malaga side which finished fourth in La Liga last season, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club's history. Cazorla, a versatile 27-year-old attacking midfielder, has made a total of 45 appearances for Spain and was a member of his country’s victorious squads at the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.
Before joining Malaga in 2011, Cazorla spent two spells at Villarreal, making 181 appearances and helping 'the Yellow Submarine' finish runners-up in La Liga in 2008. In between these spells, he spent the 2006/07 season in La Liga on loan at Recreativo. Cazorla spent the early part of his career at youth level with Spanish side Oviedo.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said: "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, who was voted Spanish Player of the Year in 2007, said: "I'm so happy to be joining Arsenal. This is a club with great players, a fantastic stadium and huge support. "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 began his international career in the U21 team featuring in the Spanish squad for the 2004 Summer Olympics. After making his debut on 31 May 2008 in a 2-1 friendly over Peru, Cazorla was selected for the 2008 UEFA European Championships making several substitute appearances in the tournament’s group stage matches. In the final he played the last 25 minutes coming on for David Silva, as Spain defeated Germany 1-0 and aided his country in winning their first major tournament in 44 years. After missing the FIFA 2010 World Cup due to a hernia but returned to the national team for the 2012 UEFA European Championships helping Spain retain the title they won 4 years earlier.
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