Santi Cazorla says he’d love to return to Arsenal after his playing days are over, and he’s still hoping to step out onto the pitch at the Emirates Stadium one last time.
After Cazorla’s excellent start to the season with Villarreal, there have been plenty of rumours about what the future has in store for him.
The 34-year-old only has a contract until the end of the season, so he’s free to move on wherever he wants after that, with the player himself admitting the MLS is a possible destination.
It’s a bit too early to gamble on where Cazorla will play next season, the former Gunner does admit he misses Arsenal though, and he’d like to return in the future for one last game and potentially a job behind-the-scenes.
“When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don’t realise what it means to be there until you are gone,” Cazorla said (via Independent). “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.”
Cazorla spent six years with Arsenal, making 180 appearances, scoring 29 goals and providing 45 assists. More than just goals and assists, he provided a huge amount of stability in possession and progressive play from midfield. Unai Emery’s team could probably still use him today.
Most Gunners fans probably remember the player most for his smile and his free-kick goal to spark the 2014 FA Cup final comeback resulting in the club’s first trophy in almost nine years. To this day, the midfielder has still only won trophies at a club level with Arsenal, so it’s not surprising he looks back on his spell in North London with fondness.
Sadly, after spending a couple of seasons on the sidelines with injury, Cazorla had to leave Arsenal to return to Villarreal. After a decent first year back where he was still finding his feet somewhat post-recovery, the Spaniard has five goals and four assists in 13 games this campaign.
That form has seen Cazorla return to the Spanish national team, making his first national appearance in over three-and-a-half years back in June. He’s back in the national squad over the current break again.