Santi Cazorla has been all over the papers since his superb display in the FA Cup.
But, rather than the headlines being about his splendid season, they have all revolved around him leaving the club for Atletico Madrid.
So, should Arsenal actually cash in and let him go?
Two of our writers put forward the case for both sides.
Sylvain Jamet – Sell!
Rumours have been going strong that Atletico Madrid are currently negoiating with the player or, as is more likely, with his agent as clubs are not allowed to speak to players without agreement from the selling club and the Bleacher Report piece from Guillem Balague is quite explicit.
The Spanish playmaker is currently playing superbly and has already scored seven goals this season.
He has been named Vitality player of the Month as well as PFA player of the month in December and is the creative hub around Arsenal’s midfield operates.
Undropabble at the moment, he is flourishing in his preferred central role.
So why should Arsenal sell the Spanish magician at the peak of his form ?
The main reason would purely be a financial one.
Having extended his contract for three years back in 2014, there will be two years remaining at the end of the 2014/15 season. He will be 30 and and a half in June 2015, so this is likely to be the last chance from the club to receive a sizeable transfer fee for an older player.
Would the Arsenal extend his contract again just a year after giving him a new one?
It certainly makes sense on the money/non-sporting side to sell him at the end of season for at least £10-15m while his commercial value is as high as it could be.
Paul Williams – No sale!
The case for selling Santi Cazorla to Atletico Madrid? It doesn’t exist.
If Santi was unhappy at Arsenal, you would say, okay, maybe.
Although, if the player was unhappy after two-and-a-half years in north London, you’d think we would have heard something by now. Even then, there is the small matter of Cazorla’s contract extension, signed last season, to consider.
Frankly, I could only imagine Arsenal selling Santi if they were to receive the mythical ‘unrefuseable offer’. Is that likely to arrive for a 30-year-old, no matter how brilliant he is, with little resale value?
I doubt it.
As Sylvain acknowledges, Santi’s excellence is such that there is no sporting case for selling the midfield general and as for the financial side of things, a year into a huge contract with Puma, the era of selling one star per summer is at an end. Particularly one as experienced and versatile as Santi.
The financial case is, therefore, a weak one at best.
I would be massively, massively disappointed if Arsenal were to sell one of their star players in the event of an offer from Atletico.
After a couple of years of strengthening the squad to a point where you feel like we might be ready to compete again, it feels like it would be a big step backwards.