It’s been a long road back to health for Santi Cazorla, with a litany of nightmarish scenarios keeping him in the surgeon’s eye. But recent reports had him back at training and hoping to play a role this season. Arsene Wenger even came to his side to say that perhaps his career at Arsenal was not done.
Yesterday, however, those hopes were quashed by Wenger:
“No, he will not be ready to play in the final game. It’s a shame [he can’t play]. I brought him here and I love the player and the person. He looks quite good, he prepares well. He runs well, he physically is working very hard.
“Medically, people tell me it’s too much a risk to rush him back now. He had to wait for such a long time, it would be stupid in one game to destroy all the work he has done.”
It is a shame but it also feels like the correct move. Even with the season done and dusted, League games can still be hard and Arsenal’s final, away to Huddersfield could still mean a lot to the home side. Expecting Cazorla to play any part and be up to the tempo, even a short five minute cameo, could be considered an unnecessary risk.
But a damn shame it remains. Santi Cazorla was a great player for Arsenal and, with him out of a contract in June, it could see his Arsenal career come to an inglorious end. 129 appearances, 25 goals and 35 assists and a heavy hand in two FA Cups largely from a deep creative role is some good service to the club. But it is hard to see how, after this long of an injury run, he manages to crack the midfield again.
I do look forward to his testimonial, though.