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Santi Cazorla confirms he ‘really wants’ to return to Arsenal and work with Mikel Arteta

Santi Cazorla confirms he would really like to return to Arsenal one day and work alongside Mikel Arteta.

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Former Arsenal fan favourite Santi Cazorla has confirmed he really wants to return to the club one day and work alongside manager Mikel Arteta. The 39-year-old is currently playing his football in the second division of Spain at his boyhood club Real Oviedo.

Although he’s completely focused on his playing career until the end of the season, he refused to rule out a move back to North London once he eventually hangs up his boots. However Cazorla is sure he doesn’t want to follow in Mikel Arteta’s footsteps and become a manger one day.

There will always be a coaching role available for Santi Cazorla at Arsenal, as long as Mikel Arteta is the manager. The Arsenal boss has been keen on adding his former teammate to his backroom staff ever since he got the job in North London.

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While speaking to Sky Sports earlier this month, Arteta was asked which ex-teammates he would like to join his coaching setup, and he initially responded: “It would be depending on the role.”

He continued to elaborate, offering the name of an Arsenal cult hero: “You know my sympathy for Santi because we used to get on really, really well and I think he had an unbelievable energy.

“To have someone like that, that can transmit his knowledge but his energy, as well, to the team I think wouldn’t be bad.”

While speaking to the Guardian, Santi Cazorla has echoed that message by saying: “I really want to go back. I owe them a lot, they hold a special place. I also have a great friend there [in Mikel Arteta].

READ MORE: Former Arsenal captain admits Mikel Arteta has inspired him to become a manager.

Cazorla made 180 appearances for the Gunners during his six years with the club, while also winning two FA Cups and two Community Shields.

Cazorla has spoken about Arteta in glowing terms previously in 2021, saying: “Mikel was very important when I came to Arsenal. I did not speak the language and he was the only Spanish. He helped me a lot, both he and his family.

“We were two students of football, we watched games and he already had that coaching gene. It is something that I would value tomorrow, now I am not considering it.”

He also spoke specifically about a possible coaching role for him at Arsenal, and certainly did not shy away from the idea: “If I am given the opportunity and he believes that I can help him, it is something that I would not mind and would leave the door open to enjoy that experience with him. But there is nothing for today, it will be seen.”

Santi Cazorla & Mikel Arteta

Santi Cazorla added to his praise for Mikel Arteta while speaking to the Guardian this week. The former Arsenal star claimed he saw Arteta’s managerial potential before anybody else.

“Injured, watching games together, he would get the remote and pause it. ‘What are you doing?’ He would say: ‘Go back, go back’, rewind 30 seconds, and ask: ‘What do you see?’ ‘I see a paused screen! What do you want me to see?!’ He would say: ‘Look at this guy here, how badly he’s positioned. If he goes here, and he goes there, this space opens’. Every game, pausing every 20 seconds. The match has finished and we’re still in the 20th minute. I’m thinking: ‘What’s with this guy?’

“He sees it. I love football but I don’t. I think it’s a gift. He’s pausing. ‘Can’t you see we’re doing this badly? Don’t you think the left-back should be deeper? That he should draw out his marker? Don’t you think we can create a space there?’ I said yes to everything: ‘Yes, you’re completely right, Mikel.

“Now, press play.’ I’d say: ‘Mate, you’re a coach already.’ He said: ‘Yeah, I see things that make me think I should be.’ We talked a lot. He still loved playing, but working with Pep Guardiola at [Manchester] City was an opportunity, the best apprenticeship. I said: ‘Mikel, if that’s what moves you, go for it. It’s worked out well.”

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