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David Silva.

Arsenal sent scouts to watch David Silva play in 2004

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How Arsenal have missed Santi Cazorla’s brilliance.

The Spanish midfielder has been out of action since October 2016, a year in which the Gunners have missed his creativity and attacking threat.

Cazorla recently gave an interview to Marca in which he revealed he was told by doctors that he would be fortunate to walk again following an ankle injury.

The 32-year-old has undergone eight - eight! - operations on the ankle and needed a skin graft from his arm to cover the wound, which became infected with gangrene and nearly had to be amputated to prevent it spreading up his leg.

"Everything that I have gone through has not been as simple an injury as people have believed," Cazorla said, per BBC Sport.

"They [the doctors] told me, if you get to walk again with your son in the garden, be satisfied."

Arsene Wenger has sorely missed Cazorla’s magic. Without him, Arsenal have lacked an inventive presence in midfield for more than a year.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-CHELSEA

Arsenal watched Silva in 2004 - but turned him down

But the situation will have been different had the Frenchman not rejected the chance to sign David Silva more than a decade ago.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal’s Spanish-based scouts, led by head of overseas recruitment Francis Cagagio, scouted Silva during a loan spell at Eibar in 2004.

Silva, 19 at the time, was on a loan at Eibar from Valencia when Arsenal studied him. But they decided not to bring him to north London - feeling he didn’t have the physical attributes required to be a hit in the Premier League.

The Spaniard would have struggled for minutes back then, with Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Cesc Fabregas, Jose Antonio Reyes and Freddie Ljungberg all at the club, but there would have been little risk in signing him,

Yet Arsenal opted against it, and Silva would join Celta Vigo on loan for the 2005-06 season. Then in 2010, Manchester City paid Valencia £26 million for the playmaker, who has gone on to show why Arsenal were fools not to sign him.

Manchester City v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League

Silva has been a hit in the PL

The north London outfit must be regretting their decision now given how successful Silva has been in the Premier League. He topped the league's assists tally in the 2011-12 season, the same campaign in which he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

In 2010, Manchester City paid Valencia £26 million for the playmaker, who has gone on to show why Arsenal were fools not to sign him.

Silva has helped Man City to two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a couple of League Cups.

He’s easily one of the finest players to have ever graced England’s top flight and is still impressing at the age of 31.

And Wenger will have front row seats to watch Silva in action when his Arsenal side travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

FBL-EUR-C3-ARSENAL-RED STAR BELGRADE

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Topics:
David Silva
Manchester City
Arsenal
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Football
Valencia
Santi Cazorla

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