The end of Santi Cazorla's time at Arsenal was not ideal. The Spanish midfielder was a fan favourite and a brilliant player but his time was turned sour by injury and bad luck but he revealed that Arsene Wenger always stood by him.
Santi Cazorla spent six years in the Premier League playing for Arsenal but the midfielder only managed to play three full seasons with injury and the worst luck stopping him playing to his fullest for the second half of his time in England.
The Villarreal player moved to the Emirates in 2012 after a year with Malaga with one of the biggest reputations as a midfielder in Europe.
He was excellent in his first three seasons for Arsenal, playing 148 games in all competitions and winning two FA Cups and two Community Shields with the Gunners.
Then things went badly for him with injuries and he had to have several surgeries. One went particularly wrong as he ended up with an infection following it that set his recovery back.
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian the Villarreal player revealed that Arsene Wenger offered him a new deal before his surgery to make sure he knew he still had a job, saying:
"Arsène always supported me. He renewed my contract before the first operation, which was an incredible gesture. He called me in: 'Santi, I'm going to give you the optional year. It's here, sign it, have your operation with peace of mind.' That helped me focus on my rehabilitation without fear. I'm eternally grateful for that."
The 33 year old has returned to Villarreal, where he made his career debut, after his contract in north London expired back in May, and he's back to playing first team football.
So far he's played three times for The Yellow Submarine in La Liga and proved he is still capable of playing first team football.
Cazorla revealed he wanted to stay at Arsenal, adding, "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."
No doubt many Arsenal fans would have wanted to see that but they'll just be glad he's back playing football anywhere.
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