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Santi Cazorla rejects false Atletico Madrid rumours

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Santi Cazorla has labelled reports linking him with a summer transfer to Atletico Madrid as "false" and insists he is happy to stay at Arsenal.

The Spain international has been one of Arsenal's most consistent and impressive performers since joining from Malaga in 2012 but has since been linked with a return to La Liga.

Atletico Madrid were prepared to offer the Gunners a profit on their original £16m outlay and Arsene Wenger was also seemingly open to the idea of cashing in on a player on the wrong side of 30 years old.

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However, contrary to recent suggestion, Cazorla has settled into London life very well and is more than happy to continue playing at the Emirates.

"Rumours about Atletico Madrid are false. Currently, I just focus on Arsenal. I have two more years on my contract here and I hope to complete them," the midfielder told Goal.

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"I'm very happy in Arsenal and in the Premier League. I feel loved and valued by the team and supporters."

Reinvention

Cazorla found it hard to get himself into the first-team line-up following the arrival of Mesut Ozil in 2013 and Alexis Sanchez in 2014. Wenger continued to use Cazorla on the wings where the diminutive playmaker struggled to make an impact.

However, the turn of 2015 saw the 30-year-old reinvent himself as a deep-lying playmaker alongside the combative Francis Coquelin. He remained in that position for the rest of the season, forcing Aaron Ramsey to play in a wider role and leaving Jack Wilshere on the bench.

Feeling good

The Spain international confirmed that he is happy in his new position and is ready to help Arsenal launch a Premier League title challenge next season.

"I don't know if this was my best year of my career but I felt so good with the team, playing in a new position that I feel comfortable in," Cazorla added. "I hope next year to be even better.

"If we want to fight for Premier League, we must maintain the level of the second half of last season. I think that that we need to fight against Chelsea, [Manchester] City and [Manchester] United, they will be stronger next season.

"We are so happy to win the FA Cup again, it is very important for us to win trophies and now we are preparing ourselves for the next season. We want to make a step up in our quality and hope to fight for Premier League and go further in the Champions League."

While Cazorla is undoubtedly a good player, his presence in the Arsenal team is inhibiting the development of both Ramsey and Wilshere.

Arsenal could arguably generate around £20m from selling the playmaker this summer, a figure they would fail to achieve any time after this summer.

When Wenger sold Patrick Vieira to Juventus, it allowed Cesc Fabregas to break through to the first-team. The same may be necessary for Wilshere, who can not afford another season on the periphery of the starting XI.

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Should Arsenal hold onto Santi Cazorla for next season even if it means a season on the bench for Jack Wilshere?

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Santi Cazorla
Arsenal
Transfer News

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