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Santiago Cazorla
Attacking Midfielder
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Santi Cazorla is a Spanish footballer who plays in the midfield. Born on 13 December 1984, Cazorla’s career started with Oviedo’s youth setup before being spotted by football whispers and the scouts at Villarreal. In just a few years after joining Oviedo’s youth setup, Cazorla would be picked up by the Villarreal B team in 2003. After just one season of playing in the reserve team, Cazorla made his La Liga debut in 2003. Cazorla would establish himself as a regular at Villarreal in the next two seasons and he made 52 appearances.

Unsurprisingly, this kicked off transfer rumours and Cazorla was snapped up by Recreativo de Huelva, who had just been promoted to La Liga. The transfer involved an option of returning to the Yellow Submarines. After spending just one season with Recreativo, Cazorla was back at Villarreal he would go on to become a star over the next four years.

Cazorla was influential middle of the park for Villarreal and he chipped in with 23 goals in his 127 appearances for the second spell. After plenty of transfer rumours, Malaga came in with a hefty £20 million offer in 2011. The La Liga outfit, though, would get to enjoy Cazorla services for just one season, as the gossip columns saw Arsenal coming with a big offer. The Gunners offered £17 million for the midfielder in 2012 to sign him and take him to the Premier League.

Cazorla’s time in the Premier League started brilliantly with 12 goals in just 38 matches. There were numerous assists along the way as well. Arsenal, though, was struggling for trophies but Cazorla did pick up the FA Cup on two occasions. Towards the end of his Arsenal days, Cazorla started getting affected by a lot of injuries. Since the 2015-16 campaign to the 2017-18 season, Cazorla made only 23 appearances in the league. Since his injury problems did not seem to subside, Cazorla was let go on a free transfer and he returned to Villarreal that he enjoyed a renaissance with 70 appearances over two campaigns.

As a midfielder who was coming towards the end of his career, Cazorla made the decision to join Qatari outfit Al Sadd in the 2020-21 campaign.

Cazorla also featured for Spain in 81 matches since making his debut in 2008.

Santi Cazorla Transfer Rumours

Transfer History

  • From Villarreal to Recreativo Huelva for £360,000 in 2006
  • From Recreativo Huelva to Villarreal for £1 million in 2007
  • From Villarreal to Malaga for £20 million in 2011
  • From Malaga to Arsenal for £17 million in 2012
  • From Arsenal to Villarreal for free in 2018
  • From Villarreal to Al Sadd for free in 2020

Santi Cazorla was signed by Villarreal for his professional debut. After three seasons at the La Ceramica, Cazorla moved to Recreativo for would be a solitary campaign. A return to Villarreal came about in 2007 and it produced a spectacular run for the midfielder, who was in the transfer news when he made a £20 million switch to Malaga in 2011. From here, it was a direct move to the Premier League when Arsenal made him one of the key transfer targets. Cazorla slashed the transfer odds in 2018 by returning to Villarreal on a free transfer. In 2020, he moved up to Qatari outfit Al Sadd on a free transfer.