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‘I’d Have Loved Suarez To Join Arsenal But Ozil’s A Superb Signing’
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has admitted he would have loved Liverpool’s Luis Suarez to join the club in the summer but hailed Mesut Ozil as a ‘superb’ signing.
We were in for Suarez all summer and had two bids rejected by Liverpool, until the Merseysiders forced the striker to remain at Anfield even though he had gone public with his desire to leave.
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Cazorla has revealed that he was expecting Arsene Wenger to bring in a new striker in the summer and would have loved it had we been able to bring the Uruguayan to the Emirates, but understands that Liverpool were reluctant to let him go.
In the end, we failed to bring in another front man but were able to land a certain playmaker from Real Madrid and Cazorla says we made a statement with the £42.5m purchase of Ozil – who he describes as a ‘superb’ signing. Cazorla said:
“Above all because we’d been hearing about strikers: Higuaín, Luis Suárez, striker, striker, striker … Our striker was Giroud and you think: ‘What if he gets injured? What do we need?’ We expected a No.9 but circumstances meant we couldn’t get Luis. Liverpool resisted. With Higuaín, Napoli got in ahead [of us] and he chose Italy.
“Suárez’s incredible. I’d have loved it if he had come; his style would have suited us. Arsenal did all they could and he wouldn’t have minded. But Liverpool didn’t want to sell, which they’re entirely entitled to do, and he’s playing incredibly again. It’s a pity he’s not on our team! [Arsenal] saw some doors shut and, when they saw the chance to get Mesut, it was an opportunity to thump a fist on the desk, to make a statement. He’s a superb signing. He’s brought ilusión, optimism and hope.”
Cazorla went on to describe how he was left feeling ‘like a kid’ when Ozil finally signed and how he couldn’t wait to return from injury to play with the German. He continued:
“I was like a little kid.”
“I was injured, so it was a few more days before I had the chance to train with him, and I was getting really excited. A great player’s coming and one you know you’re going to fit with, enjoy playing with. I was a fan, looking forward to it.”
The Spaniard admitted he thought it was ‘strange’ that Madrid agreed to sell Ozil and like many of us, he refused to believe the rumours until the attacker was officially an Arsenal player.
“It was strange. I spoke to friends at Real Madrid who told me that Mesut was talking to Arsenal, that he wanted to leave. You hear about it but you still see it as something a long way off. You think, ‘How are Madrid going to let Mesut go?’ It’s puzzling. He’s one of the best in the world and you don’t really believe it. We were talking about it: ‘It’s close … it could happen … they’ve agreed …’ Then one day the manager said: ‘We’ve signed Mesut.’ And the happiness was immense.
“He can seem intermittent but when he has the ball he’s different. You get that feeling something’s going to happen. It’s palpable. He has huge quality and we’re lucky he chose us when he had other options. The manager’s playing him as media-punta, where he performs best. Our style suits him and with time so will the Premier League.”
Cazorla goes on to give more insight into Arsene Wenger among other things, so it’s definitely worth reading the whole interview if you get the time.
But it’s good to hear the players were lifted by the signing of Ozil. There is certainly a different feel around the squad this season and I think the acquisition of Ozil has helped instil belief that we’re good enough to challenge for the title this year.