Football

Ian Wright picks Santi Cazorla as Arsenal's most important midfielder

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Arsenal legend Ian Wright has overlooked Mesut Ozil when asked for his opinion on who is Arsene Wenger's most important midfielder, naming Santi Cazorla as the player that's impressed him most in a central attacking role.

The Spain international has been picked to play in the middle of the Gunners forward three most frequently this term, with the club-record signing often pushed out wide to occupy the opposite flank to summer signing Alexis Sanchez.

Olivier Giroud is the obvious selection at the focal point of attack with fellow forwards like Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott having to settle for more of a bit-part role in the team.

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Welbeck has featured far more regularly than Walcott, who - like Giroud - spent the first few months of the season sidelined by injury. After recovering from his long-term lay-off he's struggled to work his way back into Wenger's starting XI.

Meanwhile, the £16 million signing from Manchester United started the 2014/15 campaign in a central striker role, but has been deployed in a number of different positions following the Frenchman's return to fitness.

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Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have played deeper with Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Francis Coquelin their main rivals in that area of the pitch, while long-term servant Tomas Rosicky has spent much of the season on the fringes given the increased competition for places in the first-team line-up.

However, the standout performer in the eyes of Wright - who was questioned by a caller during his BBC Radio 5 Live program - is Cazorla, whose tireless displays are deserving of special praise, whilst also paying tribute to Ozil.

"I'd go with Cazorla at the moment," he enthused before leaping to the defence of the Germany international. "People are giving Ozil a lot of stick and I feel he's doing a lot of work people are not noticing.

"[But] because we've got people like Santi, who's running himself into the ground, at the moment it is Santi."

A number of Arsenal's first-team stars have suffered injuries this season so it's just as well the strength and depth - particularly in more advanced positions - that Wenger finally appears to have at his disposal at the Emirates.

There's no doubt that Ozil has divided opinion between many football fans in this country, but more knowledgable supporters appreciate the contribution made by the World Cup winner this term, especially when you consider it's more difficult to regularly stamp authority on a game from out wide.

Having said that, Cazorla has earned every bit of praise that comes his way, having provided a perfect link between midfield and attack, playing a vital role in the improvements that Arsenal have shown in 2015.

Arsenal fans: Who do you think is more important Mesut Ozil or Santi Cazorla? Do you agree with Ian Wright's assessment that the Spaniard should continue to be picked in a central role? Share your thoughts below…

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Santi Cazorla
Arsenal
Ian Wright

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