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How would Santi Cazorla fit into Arsenal’s starting 11?

If you read the newspapers and keep your ear close to the ground on Twitter, you will know that speculation surrounding the transfer of Malaga’s Santi Cazorla to Arsenal is reaching a head, with some publications even reporting the transfer could be just 48 hours away.

Of course, like any transfer move, there is a lot of hype and expectation, but Arsenal fans are unique in that any fresh face the club brings in is lauded with extra enthusiasm considering manager Arsene Wenger is infamously tight with his purse strings.

Having not won a major honour for some seven years, Wenger has since been criticised for not strengthening the squad sufficiently, instead stubbornly trusting the exploits of young pros than that of seasoned campaigners.

But this summer, the club already have two international acquisitions in the bag with German and French internationals Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud linking up with the North London side, and with this business conducted relatively early on, we now know Wenger was contingency planning for the impending departure of Robin van Persie all along.

Ready-made pros

But with Santi Cazorla lined up and a reported loan move for Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin also on the cards, for the first time in a while, this summer represents perhaps Wenger’s acceptance that ready-made pros need to be signed, and the fans are much more content hearing the names of the Spanish and Turkish internationals being bandied about respectively.

Perhaps the signing of Cazorla (pictured) would be the most impressive in some time if Wenger can get his man. Malaga are holding out for £20m but it is believed they would accept £15m from the Gunners given their current situation.

On the clubs recent tour of the Far East, Wenger distanced himself from a move for the 27-year-old but the press back home and on the Iberian Peninsula remained adamant that a deal was in place, with Cazorla having agreed a move in principal from the financially stricken club.

A debt crisis at the Andalucía outfit has meant the clubs wealthy Middle-Eastern owners have been forced to sell their prized assets to raise funds and avoid relegation to the second division, a loss of their UEFA Champions League licence and expulsion from this year’s competition.

If we are to believe what we read, Wenger has used his innate knowledge to take advantage of this unique situation, but this mustn’t retract from the potential difficulties this deal involves with the situation at Malaga changing unpredictably almost on a daily basis.

Good news

With many Gunners fans craving some further good news following the developments that Robin van Persie doesn’t see his long-term future at the club, the North London outfit are almost desperate for some real quality and Cazorla is truly and deeply a wanted man at the Emirates.

Cazorla is diminutive and just another of the Spanish golden generation that has won the world over with their Tiki-Taka and intricate style.

On the surface, you can only see the 27-year-old fitting into the Arsenal dynamic perfectly, with the Gunners game for a long time now revolving around large spells of possession and a fluid attacking style.

With Lukas Podolski’s shirt number yet to be confirmed, with the general understanding that he will inherit Van Persie’s number ten strip when he departs, the potential Arsenal starting 11 for next season looks fairly impressive.

Podolski is likely to start on the left flank in Wenger’s favoured 4-3-3 system with Theo Walcott on the right and French new boy Olivier Giroud through the middle. Behind this is where Santi Cazorla will fit in however.

Filling Wilshere’s shoes?

With Wenger revealing that Jack Wilshere will be side lined until October recently, this news may have represented a hint in the impending transfer of Cazorla.

Wilshere was missed massively last term and although Alex Song created many assists for Van Persie, the midfield partnership of Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky couldn’t produce that moment of magic as consistently as Wilshere did in the 2010/11 campaign.

Cazorla would be a ready-made replacement for this part that was lacking in Arsenal’s 2011/12 campaign. Capable of playing in any of the midfield positions both out wide or more centrally, Cazorla truly is the modern day midfielder.

He is envisaged playing at the head of a midfield three for Arsenal in that central attacking berth that was so adequately negotiated by former Arsenal favourite Cesc Fabregas, with Alex Song at the base of the three and one of either Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky or Aaron Ramsey making up this trio.

With Wilshere yet to re-enter the fray and Abou Diaby representing another option, all of a sudden, Arsenal’s midfield represents some true strength in depth; something Wenger has lacked in previous campaigns.

Steve Bould is also on board as a first team coach nowadays and Arsenal’s defence will need some work although they all look capable pros if you take each of them personally in Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny and Gibbs with the ever-impressive Wojciech Szczesny between the sticks with the new number one jersey.

Only time will tell whether Wenger can snare Cazorla from the stuffy temperatures of Southern Spain but if the schemer does make the move to the hustle and bustle of London life, he will surely be given a hero’s welcome as Arsenal will look to finally bridge that gap between the Manchester clubs and taste success once more.

By Taylor Williams - Follow me on Twitter @Taylor_Will1989 - Visit my blog: thetrickywinger.blogspot.com

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