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Santi Cazorla explains big regret surrounding his Arsenal departure

Santi Cazorla's injury hell prevented a proper farewell when he left Arsenal on a free transfer to return to Villarreal in 2018


Santi Cazorla admits he regrets never having a proper Arsenal farewell when he left the club in 2018.

After a memorable six years at the Emirates, albeit plagued by injuries, the popular Cazorla left to head back to Villarreal.

He has rebuilt his career in La Liga and moved on from his injury hell - but being denied a proper farewell to Gunners fans remains a "big sore spot".

Speaking to Marca about his departure, Cazorla revealed he is still dreaming of a chance to play at the Emirates one last time to say goodbye and thank the Arsenal fans before his career comes to an end.

“It’s a big sore spot that I don’t know if I can be rid of,” the 35-year-old told Marca.
(Image: Getty Images Europe)

“I hope I can play there for any team and thank them for the love they have always shown me and continue to show me.

“Last summer there was the option to play the Emirates Cup, but in the end, it didn’t happen, and it was a shame. I hope these doors open for me.”

But whilst he holds Arsenal in high regard, he is in no rush to help the club in the transfer market.
Santi Cazorla of Arsenal skips past Steven Gerrard of Liverpool(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

He revealed he has received calls from the Gunners regarding potential transfer moves for Samuel Chukwueze and Pau Torres.

Yet he has warned them to stay away from his Villarreal team-mates for the time being.

“Yes, friends from Arsenal especially,” he said when asked if he gets many calls from England about the in-demand pair.

“They ask me about them and think they can make the jump to the Premiership tomorrow.

“It’s good that great teams are interested in young players from Villarreal, but for the moment I tell them to leave them alone here.

“They still have to take steps forward. They both have a great personality, and their feet are on the ground.

“In Pau’s (Torres) case he hears constant talk of City or Barcelona, but he is aware that he has to keep growing as a player and that in the future we will see where he can go.”