Arsenal's failure to clinch the signature of Luis Suarez during the summer transfer window was 'a pity', says Santi Cazorla, who had hoped the Liverpool striker would have joined him at the Emirates Stadium.
Suarez was the subject of sustained interest from the Gunners during pre-season, with the north London club failing with as many as three formal approaches to wrest the player from the clutches of his employers.
Arsenal's final offer of £40,000,001 was made in the expectation it would trigger a release clause written into the contract of the Uruguay international but, as it transpired, no such stipulation existed.
Despite the Gunners' hopes, Liverpool were able to retain the services of their key player and Suarez has since outlined precisely why Arsene Wenger had strived so desperately to bring him to north London.
Cazorla admits he was disappointed that Arsenal were unable to lure the forward from Anfield, and had expected his club to recruit renowned goalscorer before the transfer deadline.
He told The Guardian: "Above all because we'd been hearing about strikers: Higuaín, Luis Suarez, striker, striker, striker ... Our striker was Giroud and you think: 'What if he gets injured?
"What do we need?' We expected a No9 but circumstances meant we couldn't get Luis. Liverpool resisted. With Higuaín, Napoli got in ahead [of us] and he chose Italy."
"Suarez'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."
Cazorla, however, realises the Gunners may not have been able to sign Mesut Özil from Real Madrid had they managed to finalise the transfer of Suarez, and the Spain international is more than content with the acquisition of the German.
"It's a pity [Suarez] is 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," Cazorla added.
"He's a superb signing. He's brought ilusión, optimism and hope."