According to Don Balon, Arsenal have been dealt a major blow, with midfielder Santi Cazorla ‘reaching an agreement’ to join former club Villarreal this summer. The Spanish international has spent the season sidelined with injury and ‘will not continue in the Premier League’.
Cazorla joined the Gunners from Malaga in 2012 and has gone on to make 180 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 74 goals. His last appearance for Arsenal came all the way back in October 2016 against FC Ludogorets in the Champions League.
After picking up an injury in the 6-0 home win, he’s spent the last two years trying to get back on the pitch, suffering a host of setbacks and almost having his foot amputated after suffering an infection. Arsenal extended his contract for another year last season, but his future appears to lie away from the Emirates Stadium now.
Cazorla made 241 appearances for Villarreal (2003-2006 and 2007-2011) and his sale to Malaga only came about as the club were financially stricken in 2011. They have always wanted the 33-year-old back and now it appears they have their chance to renew acquaintances.
The Liga side are fully aware of his injury woes in the last 18 months, so a permanent deal is likely dependent on the playmaker proving his fitness.
Stats from Transfermarkt.