Arsenal fans received good news last week as Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla both had contract extensions confirmed by the club.
Walcott has now hailed his Spanish teammate, who is set to remain at the club for at least two more years.
“My little buddy Santi! Looking at his stats, assist-wise he has been among the best in the Premier League for the last four years,” Walcott said in an interview with Arsenal Player.
“Having him in the team [is great].”
With Walcott looking to get more minutes, and more minutes up front, this season he will be hoping that Cazorla continues to lay chances on for whoever is running through on goal.
The most incredible thing about Cazorla’s ability is almost certainly how he is equally proficient with either foot, a talent which continues to mesmerise fellow professionals and even those who train with him every day.
“He’s blessed, he’s a fantastic player and can play left or right footed. To continue playing football with him is a nice partnership.”
For years Arsenal went through a phase of losing key players. Thierry Henry, Alex Hleb, Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fàbregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie all departed after Arsenal and Arsène Wenger had helped turn them into household names.
Now the tide has turned. Despite interest from elsewhere and contracts running down Walcott and Cazorla both opted to remain, and Theo thinks that’s crucial as the club looks to compete for major honours.
“[Solidarity] is the sign of a successful team,” said the Englishman. “When players stay and stick together you see the success come out. You look at the old Manchester United and Arsenal sides and they were teams who stayed together. They just built on success after every year.
“That’s what I want to be part of and that’s what I think I can be part of because this club deserves to be there.”
For Arsenal 12 years since a Premier League title is too long. Two FA Cups in two years have helped win favour among fans and journalists while showing that this current squad is the strongest it has been for a while but it isn’t quite enough.
It was clear how much the FA Cup win meant to Walcott back in May. As Arsenal’s longest serving player you can tell how desperate he is to win silverware.
“It’s a massive club and we should be winning things every year,” Walcott insisted. “I believe that we will. That’s the sense in the dressing room and everyone is completely ready, confident and ready for the season.”
That solidarity is unquantifiable but crucial. Arsène Wenger has repeated the word ‘cohesion’ over and over again all summer and now is the time to show how much of a difference it makes.