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Selling Cazorla to Arsenal would be a backward step on and off the pitch
- Updated: 29 July, 2012
Strange things are occurring in Andalucia. Recent revelations of unpaid wages have cast a massive shadow over Malaga CF, and with the financial stability of the club increasingly being called into question, supporters are now fearful of what lies ahead.
Unfortunately for fans, it looks like there could be more bad news in the next few days as Arsenal look to steal star man Santi Cazorla. The creative midfielder has only been at the club for one season but has become an integral part of Manuel Pellegrini’s team.
Arsene Wenger has publicly stated that the club is “not close to signing anybody” but the interest in Cazorla seems genuine. It is being widely reported that Cazorla has agreed in principle to joining Arsenal and it is just up to the clubs to negotiate a transfer fee.
You can understand why Arsenal are interested. Technically sound, creatively brilliant and with an eye for goal he would fit in well in the Arsenal set up. Pellegrini, quite rightly, is resisting and trying to hold onto the Spanish international.
In truth Cazorla is not irreplaceable, but that does not mean Malaga can afford to let him go. The double European Championship winner started all 38 of Malaga’s league games last campaign, his most memorable moment a stunning last minute free-kick at the Bernabeu to steal a point.
If he was to depart there are other options at the club, but none of the same calibre as Cazorla. Isco has potential as does Buonanotte but in all honesty a player would have to be brought in to replace him. Whether such a player exists and is available at a reasonable price is another issue. Most likely Pellegrini would seek a proven La Liga player as a replacement.
In terms of stature, the capture of Santi Cazorla at the start of last season was a significant step forward for the club. For 11th placed finishers Malaga to be able to sign a player who had finished the season flying high (and qualified for the Champions League) with Villarreal was an indication that the club meant business.
However by subsequently selling to Arsenal, Malaga would also be taking a step back as a club. The future aim is to compete against teams like Arsenal and to be considered on an equal footing. They cannot afford to be a transitional club where big teams can just come along and take their players.
Of course Arsenal are a huge club with great prestige and history but they have about as much chance as Malaga of competing for a league title next season and they will compete on equal footing in the Champions League(should Malaga win the playoff).
With the Champions League qualifying round (and the start of the season) fast approaching it would be best for the club if the Cazorla situation could be sorted within the next week or two The last thing they need is it to drag out for much of the transfer window like Juan Mata’s departure from Valencia last season.
Selling Cazorla to Arsenal would weaken Malaga significantly on the pitch, for that reason alone Pellegrini must do everything in his power to try and keep him. If they can fight off the interest from Arsenal and convince Cazorla to stay, or merely refuse to sell, then they would send out a statement of intent and show they are serious about growing into a real European force.Follow @icentrocampista