After many days of rumour, excitement but also lots of angst, Arsenal have finally announced the signing of Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla from Malaga, for a fee rumoured to be less than £15m. The fee, though, doesn't represent Cazorla's true value; he's an excellent player, someone who was at the heart of successful Villarreal and Malaga sides, and has been capped 45 times for Spain, which no small feat given the players who are directly competing for places with Cazorla.
He also comes during the prime years of his career; Cazorla is an experienced campaigner, which should help his introduction into the Arsenal squad and the Premier League, but he's young enough that we should get a few good seasons out of him. This is the type of signing that many Arsenal fans want to see the club make, and they have done, for at least half of his market value.
Cazorla plays all across the midfield, and will be a sure starter for an Arsenal side that sometimes lacked in creativity last season. Wherever he plays, he'll bring quality attacking play, which is reflected in the manager's quotes about him:
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 has joined the squad for more pre-season training in Germany, and should be expected to play on Sunday against FC Köln (as are other new signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski). That means we'll be able to see him pretty soonish, and see how he links up with the rest of the side. For now, though, we can rejoice because Santi's come to town.
Now go out and get Nuri Sahin.