After signing a new contract with us, Santi Cazorla has spoken to Arsenal Player about why he’s chosen to secure his future with the Gunners.

The Spanish midfielder isn’t just an integral part of the first team, featuring 149 times for us since joining in 2012, but a popular guy behind the scenes. He never stops smiling and joking, and the positivity appears to rub off on the rest of the squad when he’s around.

However, despite his happy-go-lucky attitude off the pitch, he takes his football seriously. Last season, the 30-year-old scored eight goals and assisted 15 in 53 appearances. Though, these statistics don’t really tell the whole story. The effect Cazorla’s progressive play has on the team’s attack is crucial and even when he’s not scoring or assisting directly, he’s helping someone else to.

On his decision to remain at Arsenal, despite interest from Atletico Madrid, Cazorla said, “I’m very happy to sign a new contract with the club. I think this is the best moment in my career and the best club for me, and for the future.”

He added, “I’m very happy and I want to try to help the team get more trophies.”

The fact that a world class player like Cazorla believes our club is the best place for him and that he wants to stay in order to win trophies marks a huge change in the mentality of our squad. Just a few seasons ago, the likes of Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri were leaving for this very reason. They felt they had a better chance winning trophies elsewhere. Now the tables have turned.

“Here I have everything,” Cazorla explained. “I have confidence, I have a good team full of good players and I think this is the best option for me. It’s an easy decision to continue to play for Arsenal.”

The midfielder continued, “Every year we have a better team and we sign some good players every summer, like Mesut, like Alexis, like Petr Cech now, and this is important for me and the club. Of course we want to improve every year.”

Before finally adding, “I can only thank the fans for the support. They are amazing for us and I want to play for this club, for them, and I try to play well. I want to enjoy it all together at the Emirates.”