by Tony Attwood
This is hardly “Untold” news, as you may well have seen it, but just in case not, the story is that Santi Cazorla’s footballing career might not be over.
Arsène Wenger has made a statement to the effect that following a continuation of his rehabilitation period through the summer Santi might be able to come back to Arsenal.
That would mean having a new contract since his current contract ends this summer.
As you will know, Santi has not played since October 2016, and has had a series of injuries, and was at one stage facing the absolute horror of having a foot amputated after repeated surgery. Santi has been in Spain for some time now recuperating, and apparently at last he is making good progress.
Of course this is not the first time we have had such news – having been left off the “25” list for both Europe and Premier League games at the start of September, Santi came back onto that list in January, but of course has not played. His contract expires on 30 June.
All told he has now had nine separate operations, something quite awful to contemplate, and Mr Wenger recently said, “I haven’t seen Santi since the League Cup final, but the last news I heard is that he’s doing very well. Hopefully he can come back before the end of the season to make a check up to see if he can play again in the Premier League. If he could reach that level we would discuss a contract.”
Santi is now 33, so the end of his playing days in the PL is obviously fast approaching, but it may be possible for him to play occasionally without endangering his health and well being further.
Mr Wenger continued, “We miss him a lot, you know. I’ve not spoken about it much, because he has not been the story of the day, but we missed him a lot. He is an exceptional football player and it is very sad what happened to him. It’s very sad for Arsenal as well.”
Mr Wenger also reiterated the issues surrounding Jack Wilshere. Jack is only 26, and a new contract offer is going to be made before he leaves for the World Cup.
“Jack has the freedom to make the decision”, Mr Wenger said. “He is now focussed on the next games but I think he will make a decision before the end of season. He may not want to go to the World Cup without having sorted the situation.”
Jack probably knows that the world cup can be a graveyard for players where the manager, without any long term responsibility for the player, will encourage player to play on despite an injury – leaving him then needing months of recuperation – which of course the country does not have to pay for. Mr Wenger knows that danger too – hence the offer of a contract which has a high incentive for games played.
But the warning of what can happen, in the shape of Santi Cazorla, should be there for all players to see. I hope Jack is cautious in Russia, and also hope he signs a new contract with Arsenal.
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