Tuesday 07 August 2012
Arsenal have completed the signing of Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla.
The Gunners have announced that the 27-year-old has signed a long-term contract after joining from La Liga side Malaga for an undisclosed fee.
Cazorla, who has made 45 appearances for Spain, was a member of his country's victorious squads at UEFA Euro 2008 and 2012.
"I'm so happy to be joining Arsenal," he told the official Arsenal website. "This is a club with great players, a fantastic stadium and huge support.
"I'm so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe"
- Santi Cazorla
"The club has one of the best managers in football and their style of play is recognised and admired all over the world.
"I'm so excited to be joining one of the greatest teams in Europe and also in the Premier League. I will do my best to help Arsenal challenge for trophies and make all the supporters happy."
Cazorla said his switch to Arsenal was in part influenced by Arsenal legends Robert Pires and Cesc Fabregas.
"I have spoken to Robert Pires because he played with me at Villarreal," he added. "Obviously he knew about the rumours of me coming here and always encouraged me to sign.
"He told me it was a very good club and I was going to enjoy London, the city and the move.
"The same with Cesc Fabregas. He said this was a big club and that I was going to be very happy here, he said I would adapt easily. And I can feel that."
Cazorla joined Malaga last year and scored nine times in 38 league appearances as the club secured an impressive fourth-place finish in La Liga.
"He is a player with good experience at both club and international level"
- Arsene Wenger
He started his career at Villarreal, making his debut in 2003, and had two spells at the club either side of a season at Recreativo in 2006/07.
Cazorla made a total of 181 appearances for Villarreal, helping the club finish second in La Liga in 2007/08. He was also voted Spanish Player of the Year in 2007.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was delighted with his third signing of the summer, following the captures of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
"Santi Cazorla is a great signing for us," added Wenger. "He is a player with good experience at both club and international level, who will add significant quality to our squad.
"He is a versatile, attacking midfield player who can play comfortably on either side of the pitch or centrally. He has good pace, is technically gifted and will be a huge asset to Arsenal Football Club.
"We are delighted that he is joining us."
Arsenal begin their Barclays Premier League campaign at home to Sunderland on August 18th.