By Tony Attwood
Today is the first anniversary of the signing of Santi Cazorla. In fact 7 August is quite a day for anniversaries.
But more on that in a moment. What I want to say first is, “Santi Cazorla – I’m sorry. It’s not your fault.”
No one quite knows what Santi Cazorla cost Arsenal, but this statement from the Metro made a couple of days before the deal went through gives a clue…
Pellegrini says he has no intention of selling the player, and especially not for the €20 million being quoted across Europe.
‘To sell Cazorla for €20 million would be to give him away. I don’t think the club intends to do that,’ Pellegrini told the Spanish press.
‘I’ve talked a lot with Abdullah Ghubn and with the Sheikh and this would not be representative of their mentality. It would send out the wrong signal ahead of our Champions League campaign. If significant offers come in for players they are worthy of consideration, but I don’t think Santi will be leaving for €20 million.’
And certainly watching him last season he was (at least by this summer’s prices) worth far far more than that.
But he is stuck with that sort of price tag. The Mail Online this week said it “believes the Spanish capital’s second club will offer Arsene Wenger £17.5m for the 28-year-old Spanish international. The Real Oviedo youth graduate joined Arsenal from La Liga side Malaga 12 months ago and has had a storming first season in the Premier League, with 12 goals and 11 assists from 37 starts.”
That is indeed a clue.
The Transfer League web site quotes a figure of £20m for last season’s transfer, the most expensive of the four players who cost Arsenal £52.5 million.
But of course £52.5 million doesn’t count much these days, because that’s spread over four players. So if Santi was one of four well, he can’t be very good can he?
So on 7 August 2012, it was officially announced that Cazorla had signed a long-term deal with Arsenal, and was the third of these transfers after Podolski and Giroud. The last one was Monreal.
And with that little list you see the problem is simply that Cazorla didn’t cost enough to be rated as any good. To be any good you have to cost £40m plus alone. Cazorla cost only half that and so is only half good.
The fact is that Arsenal got Santi Cazorla on the cheap simply because his club Malaga was in financial melt down, after the club was bought by the one Sheikh who didn’t own a dozen oil wells, and his fate as never been given a Marquee err, well, Mark, was sealed.
But if you want a Marquee Player (however you define it) I would pick Santi Cazorla. OK the verdict might be “Good but not expensive enough” for those who value money above talent, but for me, compared with other players going at the £40m plus price, that’s where I would put him.
And I would put him there not just because he was superb last season, but because he was superb in his first season. Just think what the second season will bring, now he’s settled in.
Incidentally those four transfers of one year ago also suggest that the notion that Mr Wenger is as a tight fisted turnip means there is something wrong with the crop rotation. It’s not bad going for one season.
Anyway, happy one year anniversary Santi Cazorla. It’s not your fault you were sold on the cheap by a club that had hit the rails. It is not your fault that Athletico Madrid made a pathetic offer for you. It’s not your fault that the new vision is that anything under £40m is “just not good enough”. Just remember the “not for sale at any price” tag that Arsenal put on you.
So, its an anniversary.
The full list of today’s is below- and a shortened list is provided most days on this site’s home page, and the full detailed list for the day on the Arsenal History Society site home page. The whole rolling list of anniversaries – which has four or five events added every day is also available on that site.
- 7 August 1910: Alf Common signed
- 7 August 1973: Freddie Cox died
- 7 August 1982: Tony Adams first appearance in friendly away to Colchester
- 7 August 1991: Arsenal beat Watford in friendly; Ray Parlour’s first game
- 7 August 1993: Eddie McGoldrick first game
- 7 August 1997: Christopher Wreh joins
- 7 August 2000: Guy Demel joins from Nîmes
- 7 August 2002: Gilberto Silva joins from Atlético Mineiro
- 7 August 2005 : Arsenal lose to Chelsea in Community Shield
- 7 August 2009: Håvard Nordtveit loaned to Nuremberg for season
- 7 August 2012: Santi Cazorla joins Arsenal from Málaga