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Fri Apr 25 01:51:25 SAST 2014

Arsenal confirm signing of Cazorla

Reuters | 07 August, 2012 11:490 Comments
UEFA EURO 2012 Champions Spain Victory Parade And Celebrations
In this handout image supplied by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Santi Cazorla of Spain poses with the trophy following his team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match against Italy onboard the Spain team's airplane during their flight back to Madrid on July 2, 2012 in flight
Image by: Handout / RFEF via Getty Images

Arsenal have strengthened their midfield with the acquisition of Spaniard Santi Cazorla from troubled La Liga side Malaga, the latest player from the world and European champions to make the move to the English Premier League.

“Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Spain international Santi Cazorla has joined the club on a long-term contract,” Arsenal said on their website (www.arsenal.com) on Tuesday.

  Malaga, who are offloading players amid reports their Qatari owner wants to sell up, also confirmed the deal, which Spanish and British media reported was worth around 15 million pounds ($23,42 million).

  Cazorla is Arsenal’s third major summer signing, joining Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud who moved from FC Cologne and Montpellier HSC respectively.

  The 27-year-old has made 45 appearances for Spain, including brief cameos at Euro 2012, and will potentially play alongside compatriot Mikel Arteta in the Arsenal midfield.

  Cazorla spent most of his career at Villarreal before joining Malaga last season when he helped the Andalusian side qualify for the Champions League for the first time.

SPECIAL PLAYER

  Cazorla said his decision had been influenced by former Arsenal captain and Spain international Cesc Fabregas, as well as Frenchman Robert Pires, an ex-Arsenal midfielder Cazorla played with at Villarreal.

  He said he had also discussed the move with some of the other Spanish players currently in the Premier League, including Chelsea pair Fernando Torres and Juan Mata, Manchester City’s David Silva and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

  “They have told me that it is great to play in the Premier League, they told me how the games are in England,” Cazorla said on Arsenal’s website.

  “You see Spanish players doing well here and that inspires you to come over as well,” he added.

  “They have set an example and I hope I will adapt to the league as well as they have.”

 Fabregas, who returned to Barcelona last season, said he was delighted with the news of Cazorla’s deal with his former club.

  “I’m so happy to hear that my mate Santi Cazorla is finally a gooner,” he wrote on his Twitter feed. “Top guy, special player. A great signing! Come onnn!”

 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Cazorla would add

”significant quality” to the squad.

  “He is a versatile, attacking midfield player who can play comfortably on either side of the pitch or centrally,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.

  “He has good pace, is technically gifted and will be a huge asset to Arsenal Football Club. We are delighted that he is joining us.”

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