Arsenal has to figure out how to jazz up their midfield, and while Santi Cazorla is certainly a solution, he isn’t the solution.
Santi Cazorla may be 35-years-old, but the guy’s playing like he’s in his prime. He has been sensational at Villareal, playing the kinds of minutes we rarely even saw at Arsenal while producing the amount of goals and assists we had grown accustomed to.
There are talks of Cazorla coming back to the Emirates for a true farewell, but I’m more interested in him coming back and spending the last two years of his playing career here, because if nothing else, he’s a temporary solution to the problem we currently have.
I know, I frequently bash temporary solutions these days (namely Willian) because we should be looking to invest long-term, but for Santi Cazorla, we’re going to make an exception. Because he’s Santi Cazorla and because he is thriving in the one way our club is currently floundering.
It really is remarkable how little goal production Arsenal get out of their midfield. Between Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil, Dani Ceballos, and Granit Xhaka, our five primary midfielders, the Gunners have gotten just two goals and seven assists in over 7,000 minutes of play.
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That’s shockingly low. For most clubs, that tally is what you’d expect from your midfield pivot, and even that total would be a bit low. Jack Grealish, for instance, has seven goals and six assists in 2300 minutes of play.
Oh, and Marcel Sabitzer? Eight goals and five assists in 2000 minutes. Combine those two and you’ve got fifteen goals and eleven assists in 4300 minutes. Still 3000 minutes to spare on our quintuplets of clogged creativity.
Santi Cazorla could fix that in light of a long-term solution. And even if we do find our long-term solution in someone like Grealish or Sabitzer, Cazorla would still prove to be a viable solution as well. You can’t have too much creativity in the midfield, as we have learned this year, and while it’s dicey to expect Cazorla to continue to put in 2500 minutes a season, slashing that down to 1500 wouldn’t be too crazy to think about.
In that 1500, he’d probably get more than two goals and seven assists.
Go get Santi Cazorla for free. Don’t worry about what it leads to or what comes of it. Then go get a long-term solution. And then you’re done. Your midfield is fixed. It’s that easy.