Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has officially joined Villarreal, the club announced on Tuesday.
The Spanish club announced the move using their Twitter account, welcoming the 33-year-old back ‘home’, to the club he’s already spent many years with over multiple spells. Santi played his first games in senior football with the Villarreal B team, then played for the first-team from 2003 to 2006, before returning between 2007 and 2011.
Hoy tenemos una cosa muy especial que contaros porque es la hora de volver a ver a alguien muy querido por los groguets… ¡Bienvenido de nuevo, @19SCazorla 😍😍😍! #CazorlaVuelveACasa 🏠💛 pic.twitter.com/CPwaLUj1Me
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) June 5, 2018
Cazorla himself also posted a video to reveal the news on his Twitter account:
Good news coming! pic.twitter.com/bMdWQtD5L8
— Santi Cazorla (@19SCazorla) June 5, 2018
After coming to the end of his contract with Arsenal, the Spaniard and the club decided not to renew his deal. As a result, a six year spell in North London came to an end last month.
The departure was Arsenal’s first official transfer of the summer, and whilst it’s sad to see Cazorla go, it was probably for the best. He was out injured for 577 days, missing 103 matches before his return this month. When he finally got fit, it was right at the end of the season, and right as his contract expired, which is unfortunate timing.
Even so, he may still have earned a new deal, if Arsene Wenger were still around. Without the manager who brought him to the club, and who kept renewing his contract, it was always going to be a long shot.
Nonetheless, we’re left with plenty of happy memories of the 33-year-old’s time with Arsenal. Most notably the 2014 FA Cup win of course, when his free-kick inspired a comeback from two goals down to win 3-2.
We wish him all the best with Villarreal.