Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that both Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker have 12-month options in their contracts that Arsenal are ready to exercise. Both the Spaniard and the German have recently been sidelined with lengthy injuries, but Wenger, when asked if fitness was a potential sticking point in deciding whether to extent the players, said that was not a major concern.
“No. We have an option on both of them and I think we will take it.
“For their qualities as football players firstly but as well for their mental guidance.
“We need to have a balance between youth and experience. They are important in that.”
Cazorla joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012, when they were having a fire sale similar to that of the South Coast Boutique. Since then, he has been one of Arsenal’s go-to midfielders, playing both through the middle and on the left. More recently, Wenger has deployed him as a deep-lying playmaker and distributor partner to the Frenchman Francis Coquelin. His goal to bring us to 2-1 down against Hull in the 2014 FA Cup Final still makes me jump for joy.
Arsenal’s captain Mertesacker, meanwhile, joined from Werder Bremen on deadline day 2011, although Arsenal had been targeting him for months. He quickly became a key part of one of the best central defensive pairings in the Premier League, along with Frenchman Laurent Koscielny. His goal to level it against Wigan Athletic in the semi-final of the 2014 FA Cup Final (which erased his error to give up the penalty that put Wigan ahead) was met with one of the greatest celebrations of pure emotion I think I’ve ever seen.
Both have been memorable parts of the Arsenal squad and both provide experience and leadership in the dressing room. This writer sees no reason to believe this is anything but good news. Now, let’s get them back to fitness and ready to contribute on the pitch.