Santi Cazorla appears to have provided Arsenal with a big boost ahead of the new Premier League campaign after dismissing recent speculation linking him with a return to La Liga.
Spanish international Cazorla - who notched the Gunners' opener during their hugely impressive Community Shield victory over Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday afternoon - has been frequently mentioned with regard to a possible move to Atletico Madrid this summer as a long-term target of manager Diego Simeone.
Despite featuring on a regular basis for Arsenal after switching to the Emirates Stadium from Malaga in 2012, rumours suggesting that he could return to his homeland appeared to be largely based on suggestions that he has struggled to adapt to life in England and could lose his place in Arsene Wenger's lineup this season with Alexis Sanchez's arrival making competition for places in the Frenchman's midfield fiercer than ever.
Cazorla focused on Arsenal
However, Cazorla has now moved to dismiss such unhelpful gossip, describing it as mere 'paper talk' and insisting that he is prepared for a good season in North London.
"I've seen that in the papers, but nobody has told me anything personally and the only things I know are from the papers, so I don't know anything," the 29-year-old told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope in an interview that was cited by talkSPORT.
"I'm only focused on training here and preparing well playing with Arsenal. It's paper talk. I'm well, I have the confidence of everybody, the support of the fans and we hope to have a good season."
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€20 million-rated Cazorla and Arsenal got their 2014/15 campaign underway in fine style yesterday of course, with the club well deserving of their 3-0 win over Manuel Pellegrini's out-of-sorts City side.
After registering on the scoresheet with a superbly composed finish through a crowd of defenders just after the 20-minute mark, Cazorla produced an accomplished display as Arsenal's talented collection of midfielders proved too much for the likes of Yaya Toure and Fernando to contend with on the expansive Wembley playing surface.
Boosted by such an emphatic win, Arsenal kick-off their Premier League season with a home tie against Tony Pulis' Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.