Cazorla hoping to make Arsenal return after missing the chance to say ‘a proper goodbye’

The Spanish schemer was a popular figure at Emirates Stadium before injuries ended a spell in England and he would like to head back to north London

Santi Cazorla is hoping his career will eventually lead him back to Arsenal, with the Spaniard having seen injuries prevent him from saying “a proper goodbye” at Emirates Stadium.

The Spaniard was a popular figure in north London throughout a six-year spell with the Gunners.

He took in 180 appearances for the club, but only 11 of those came in 2016-17 and none the following year in what proved to be a farewell season.

Serious Achilles problems kept Cazorla stuck on the sidelines before he was finally released in 2018.

A return to fitness and prominence has been enjoyed during a third stint at Villarreal, but the two-time European Championship winner is now 34 years of age.

Attention is beginning to drift towards the future and Cazorla admits he would welcome the opportunity to return to Arsenal at some stage.

He told The Independent: “When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don’t realise what it means to be there until you are gone.

“I never got to say a proper goodbye. It was the biggest team I played for in my career and I miss everything about Arsenal.

“I don’t know what my legacy is there, you would have to ask the fans, but I want to say thank you to them all. I would like to play at the Emirates one last time before I retire. 

“I don’t know what I will do afterwards – maybe a coach, maybe a sporting director – but I would love to go back to Arsenal.

“I lived in London for six years. My son loved it there. In the future, we will see if I have the possibility.”

For now, another Spaniard heads up the coaching team at Arsenal.

Unai Emery has seen questions asked of his ongoing presence, as the Gunners once again struggle for consistency in a faltering top-four bid, but Cazorla believes a fellow countryman will be a success if given the time and patience he needs.

He added: “Unai Emery is a good coach and it’s a very good team, I watch them play often, but he needs time.

“It’s a new generation and it’s very difficult to compete against teams like Man City and Liverpool.

“It’s difficult to know [why the club has stalled]. They have the players, they have the fans, the stadium, they have everything to do it but they have to believe it.”

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