It was only a few days ago that it was speculated that Santi Cazorla, Arsenal’s lovable but perpetually-injured midfielder, would be taking on a different role by working with managerial candidate Mikel Arteta as a player-coach next season for the club. Today, Arsenal twitter was sent into a meltdown today as it was being reported that he was set to be returning to his former club Villarreal this summer, ending his Arsenal career.
However, journalist Alex Kirkland quickly responded to the initial report with a conflicting take on the nature by which he would be returning to Villarreal.
Santi Cazorla to join Villarreal for pre-season training (but nothing confirmed for after that, as some are tweeting) https://t.co/Uq7FjGWvhE— Alex Kirkland (@alexkirkland) May 19, 2018
While potentially losing the effervescent and talented Cazorla for good may sadden the Arsenal faithful, it should not come as a surprise that Cazorla’s playing career is all but finished. Since the 2015 season, Cazorla has struggled to remain healthy, and has missed the better part of two full seasons, including the entirety of the 2017-2018 season, due to complications that arose from a series of surgeries to repair his achilles tendon.
Many Arsenal fans were hopeful that Cazorla would return to the pitch for one last match at the end of the season after he was spotted training on the Emirates pitch. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.
Arsenal, though, have also been preparing for a future without the influential midfielder, as the club has recently been linked to both Max Meyer and Jean Micheal Seri, young players whose skillsets are comparable to Cazorla’s.
Regardless of which report is accurate, Arsenal fans should be preparing themselves for a future without the cherubic Cazorla.