Cazorla’s arrival fills vital piece of Arsenal jigsaw as they chase title
Santi Cazorla scored eight goals from outside the penalty box for Malaga last season
If a team is going to play with just a single striker, then an attacking midfielder with both play-making skills and an eye for goal become even more vital and Arsenal may have filled this void with Santi Cazorla.
Manchester City benefited immensely from David Silva performing this duty last season to help them become champions and Arsenal will be hoping for a similar impact from their Spaniard.
It is 12/1 that Arsenal win the Premier League this season and Cazorla’s ability around the opposing penalty box will prove a vital cog in Arsene Wenger’s chosen style of maintaining possession.
He was one of three players in La Liga to complete over 1,000 passes in the final third last season with Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Xavi, while his nine goals from midfield helped Malaga qualify for the Champions League.
What was especially encouraging for Arsenal supporters was that eight of these nine goals were scored from outside of the box.
Arsenal are often criticised for attempting to walk the ball into the net and Cazorla’s capacity to shoot from distance could add a new string to their bow.
Looking at Arsenal’s midfield last season, they did not have anybody centrally willing to play that bit higher up the pitch and effectively provide a link between midfield and attack.
With Jack Wilshere still injured, Cazorla can be expected to form a good partnership with fellow Spaniard Mikel Arteta and Alex Song, while Aaron Ramsey showed signs at the Olympics of rediscovering some of his better form after a broken leg.
Meanwhile, with Manchester United signing Shinji Kagawa and Chelsea paying good money for both Eden Hazard and Oscar, it is an area of the pitch where Arsenal’s title rivals have also chosen to strengthen.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.