Santi Cazorla has not featured for Arsenal since October 2016 due to an Achilles injury which required several operations and a skin graft, but after returning to first-team training recently in the public eye before the Gunners’ Europa League semi-final first leg encounter with Atletico Madrid, the diminutive Spaniard has outlined his desire to fulfil a personal ‘objective’.
A brisk jog followed by light drills with the ball is what was brandished to the delighted spectators at the Emirates, and as his rehabilitation program ramps up through the phases, the 33-year-old conveyed his intention to return to the fold and indeed to play a part on the field before the closing of the 2017-18 campaign, although he ultimately understands that there’s still a very long road ahead until he’s back to full compliment.
The marksman returned to his former club Real Oviedo on Tuesday, and as quoted by Spanish outlet AS (via Mirror), Cazorla elatedly expressed:
“I’ve still got some way to go, because after being sidelined for 18 months, everything has to be done in its own time. But the sensations I have keep getting better and I’m feeling optimistic about the future,” said Cazorla, quoted by Spanish media outlet AS.
“The objective is to play some part with the team before the season ends, but we have to take things carefully.
“After being out for so long it will take a while to get back into form, it’s a real struggle, but when you have been out like I have, you also notice pains elsewhere – apart from what I’ve had with my tendon.
“But all of that must mean that I am doing things right, and I hope to be back as soon as possible.”
Cazorla’s current contract at the north-Londoners is set to expire at the end of the campaign, however it’s thought that the club would be willing to table a renewed offer, as his presence in the middle at the park and on the flanks is at times simply invaluable.
But, with Arsene Wenger announcing his exit from the club after 22 illustrious years at Arsenal’s helm, it’s unclear to whether the Frenchman’s eventual successor will consider Cazorla as a worthy squad member after such a substantial length of time out of the picture.
Wenger, over the decades through toil and triumph, has accomplished a great magnitude of success at Arsenal and Cazorla insists that ‘Le Prof’s’ absence will be sorely missed by all in the dressing room, as well as behind the scenes, presumably.
“I hope the club gives him a good send-off. He has given his life to Arsenal. He has made his decision and I hope whoever comes in has all the luck in the world,” he proceeded.
“England is second to none when it comes to valuing the work of people who have dedicated their lives to a football club – you could see that in the reception he got at Old Trafford (against Manchester United on Sunday)”.
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