Santi Cazorla wants to come back to Arsenal in a coaching capacity and says he wanted to stay at the club after the injury that almost ended his career.

Sadd's midfielder Santi Cazorla warms up before the start of the AFC Champions League group E match between Qatar's al-Sadd and Jordan's al-Wehdat at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium in Saudi Arabia's Dammam on April 15, 2022. (Photo by YOUSEF DOUBISI/AFP via Getty Images)
Sadd’s midfielder Santi Cazorla warms up before the start of the AFC Champions League group E match between Qatar’s al-Sadd and Jordan’s al-Wehdat at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium in Saudi Arabia’s Dammam on April 15, 2022. (Photo by YOUSEF DOUBISI/AFP via Getty Images)

Few expected Santi Cazorla to play again after the ankle injury ruined his last two years at Arsenal, especially after he revealed that the doctors were worried he could lose his foot.

But, determined his career would not end this way, Cazorla made a return to the field for Villarreal 668 days after first picking up the injury, a moment he said that made the suffering worthwhile.

“I will speak with Mikel or with someone in the club”

Cazorla’s contract with Arsenal came to an end the same summer Unai Emery arrived and he was released.

Villarreal offered him a contract, which he gladly accepted, and he played there for two years, totalling up an impressive 24 goals and 24 assists in 92 games.

Now Cazorla, who turns 38 in December, plays for Al-Saad where he has 32 goals and 30 assists in 74 games and he is starting to consider what comes after playing.

“I have to start thinking about that,” Cazorla said with this season expected to be his last in Qatar.

Santi Cazorla's ankle. Picture: Pablo García/MARCA
Santi Cazorla’s ankle. Picture: Pablo García/MARCA

“I don’t know if [that will be] as a coach, a second coach [assistant manager] or sporting director.

“My dream was to play more and more years for [Arsenal].

“Of course I would like to come back,” he added. “I have to wait if the club thinks about me, if I can help in something – as a coach or a sporting director.”

Obviously, Sporting Director is out as Arsenal recently named Edu to that role for the first time in the club’s history.

Cazorla then went on to speak about his relationship with Mikel Arteta.

“When I arrived at Arsenal, I didn’t speak English – nothing!” Cazorla said.

“I remember on the first day he was there to welcome me and after that, he was very important every day.

“[He is] One of the best friends I have in football.

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta (L) and Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla (R) walk to the pitch for a training session at the club's complex in London Colney on March 12, 2013 ahead of the team's last 16 UEFA Champions League football match against Bayern Munich in Germany on March 13. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS
AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS

“It was the best time in my career, I love everything about the club. I miss everything.

“When I have the idea to retire, I will speak with Mikel or with someone in the club.”

This is not the first time Cazorla has spoken about wanting to coach at Arsenal. Back in 2019, he also said, “When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don’t realise what it means to be there until you are gone.

“I never got to say a proper goodbye. It was the biggest team I played for in my career and I miss everything about Arsenal.

“I don’t know what my legacy is there, you would have to ask the fans, but I want to say thank you to them all. I would like to play at the Emirates one last time before I retire.

“I don’t know what I will do afterwards – maybe a coach, maybe a sporting director – but I would love to go back to Arsenal. I lived in London for six years. My son loved it there. In the future, we will see if I have the possibility.”

Cazorla spent six years with Arsenal, making 180 appearances, scoring 29 goals and providing 45 assists.

More than just goals and assists, he was adored by everybody.

I can’t think of one Arsenal fan who wouldn’t love to see him back at the club.

Santi Cazorla: If Wenger had stayed, maybe I would have

Santi Cazorla: I’d love to return to Arsenal after my playing career

 

Santi Cazorla: Arsenal supporters were incomparable and meant so much to me

Previous articleArsenal learn opening FA Youth Cup draw
Next articleArsenal confirm they want all Arsenal women’s matches at Emirates
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.