Santi Cazorla to leave Arsenal this summer at end of contract

Santi Cazorla
Cazorla has won 78 caps for Spain

Midfielder Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal this summer when his contract ends, the club have announced.

The Spaniard, 33, has made 180 appearance for the Gunners since joining from Malaga in 2012.

But he has not played for the Premier League club since October 2016 because of a serious Achilles tendon injury.

Cazorla has two FA Cup winners' medals from his time with Arsenal and scored in their 3-2 cup final win over Hull at Wembley in 2014.

"I am very sad to be leaving after so many great times," Cazorla said.

"I have loved my time with the club. I will always remember the special moments we had together. The FA Cup in 2014 is something we will never forget.

"I am very proud to be part of this club's history."

Cazorla has had surgery on his injury several times and in November 2017 doctors told him he should be "satisfied" to walk again after contracting gangrene in his right ankle.

The central midfielder was forced to have skin removed from his arm and grafted on to his leg after the infection left him with "eight centimetres missing" from his Achilles tendon.

He will reportedlyexternal-link train with Spanish side Villarreal, one of his former clubs, before next season.

Cazorla's last Arsenal match was a 6-0 win over Ludogorets on 19 October 2016, and in total he scored 29 goals for the club.

"Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch," Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said.

"His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years.

"He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare.

"We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club."


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