Santi Cazorla’s Arsenal contract expires in the summer, and after giving him a year extension last year, will Arsenal offer him another?
Santi Cazorla should stay at Arsenal for as long as he wants, but his body might not let him.
For Santi, there are more pressing concerns than his expiring Arsenal contract.
The Spaniard will be out of contract in the summer should he and the club not reach an agreement, but with his entire career under threat, his focus will be elsewhere.
For someone who has been out of action since October 2016, getting out on the Emirates pitch again would be a significant step forward.
As for Arsenal, all they can do is wait and support him as best they can.
If they were certain he would recover, and would have the same quality, then there would be no doubt about a new contract. Just as with Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby before, if the quality is there, and the body is willing, even reluctantly, Cazorla will have a place at Arsenal.
Even if it is in a reduced capacity, there’s merit to keeping Cazorla at the club.
His technical quality and intelligence can make a difference in games, while his experience and cheerful personality make him a positive influence at the club.
On a personal note, it would be hard to see Cazorla leave. He is an entertainer, and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to see him do that again at the Emirates Stadium.
Given how Arsene Wenger has treated injured players before, I’ve little doubt a new contract will be offered should Cazorla show signs of recovering.
Few managers have kept faith with injured stars as much as Wenger, and he’ll see the value of keeping the Spaniard at the club. More than that, he will see the value in treating Cazorla as a human being.
At the same time, there’s reality to deal with.
Cazorla has been stuck in a cycle of operations and rehabilitation for over a year now. Physically, he’s not going to be the same player he was.
Intelligence can compensate but top level football is physically demanding and could prove beyond him.
That is, of course, assuming he gets back to playing football at all.
He has the will and determination to come back, but his body might have other ideas.
Still, as the cliche goes, if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Ledley King was able to play at a good level despite not being able to train regularly. There are alternative ways for Cazorla to keep fit and contribute to the Arsenal team.
Arsenal will have to rely on other midfielders, and will likely not be able to plan for the future with Cazorla in mind.
Even so, if he’s fit and can play, there should no reason not to extend his stay at the club.
If, if if….