by Lewis Ambrose

Speaking ahead of the Puma Arsenal 2015/16 home kit launch on Monday night Santi Cazorla named Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanović as the “toughest” in the top four.

Cazorla is coming off the back of a fantastic third season in London and has become a key player for Arsenal.

Used in a more reserved central role the Spanish midfield was a vital component of Arsène Wenger’s team as a strong Premier League finish saw them finish third as well as winning the FA Cup for the second consecutive year.


Chelsea were worthy champions last year, and Arsenal failed to score in both games against Jose Mourinho’s side.

They have a reputation as a strong side, and Cazorla is sure that Ivanović is the toughest of the lot.

“Out of the top four sides I wouldn’t even consider anyone else than Ivanović,” said Cazorla.

The Serbian international was known as a centre-back when he signed for Chelsea back in 2008 but has become a formidable right-back in his time at Stamford Bridge.

Cazorla hopes to topple Chelsea and win the Premier League with Arsenal next year but knows just how big the task in hand is – and even suggests the Gunners can learn from their rivals.

“In general Chelsea are the toughest team defensively because of their strong work on a one-to-one basis.

“One of the key areas we have to focus on next season is to be a very strong defensive team,” said Cazorla.

“If we’ve got those things under control our offence is already good enough. We need to make sure that the positioning of our backline is strong and always stays that way.”


The attacking talent at the disposal of Wenger is beyond doubt, and Cazorla is right – if Arsenal are strong at the back next season we are more than ready to compete for the league.