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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Cazorla to leave Arsenal in June after two years of injury hell

The Spanish midfielder will leave when his contract expires.

Cazorla has only recently returned to training.
Cazorla has only recently returned to training.
Image: Stuart MacFarlane

SANTI CAZORLA WILL bring the curtain down on his injury-ravaged Arsenal career when the Spanish midfielder leaves at the end of his contract in June.

Cazorla hasn’t played for Arsenal since suffering a serious Achilles injury in October 2016.

In a bid to return to action, he had 10 separate operations and a skin graft after he lost eight centimetres of tendon in his right ankle.

The 33-year-old, who was signed from Malaga in 2012, made 180 appearances in six years with Arsenal, scoring 29 goals in all competitions.

Cazorla was widely regarded as one of the most technically gifted players in the Premier League when he was at his peak.

He helped Arsenal lift two FA Cups, scoring a sublime free-kick in the 2014 final against Hull to spark Arsenal’s comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Wembley.

Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch.

“His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years.

“He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club.”

Cazorla, who has won 77 caps for Spain, is reported to have been offered the chance to rejoin his former club Villarreal for pre-season training next term.

He played for La Liga side Villarreal in two separate spells between 2003 and 2011.

© AFP 2018 

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