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Cazorla gives his verdict on Arteta’s Arsenal future

Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal
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Cazorla, a self-confessed ‘Gunner’, has weighed in his opinion on former teammate Arteta’s progress as Arsenal manager.

Santi Cazorla believes his old Arsenal teammate Mikel Arteta is ‘the right man to take the club forward’.

The former Gunners midfielder has kept a keen eye on the club’s progress since his departure in 2018, which was the same year Arsene Wenger stepped down after 22 years in charge.

Replacing the legendary Arsenal manager has proved no simple task. The club’s first-choice successor Unai Emery had mixed success before Arteta took over in December 2019.

Despite his inexperience, Arteta led the squad to a record 14th FA Cup title last season. Things, however, have proved more difficult this term. Arsenal are down in ninth-place in the Premier League and in danger of failing to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years.

Europa League glory may be their only chance of preventing this nightmare scenario.

To do this, though, Arsenal must first overcome a 2-1 aggregate deficit in the second leg of their semi-final tie against Cazorla’s old side Villarreal on Thursday at the Emirates.

“I think he’s the right man to take the club forward,” Cazorla told UEFA about Arteta.

“It’s difficult to follow a period like Arsene Wenger’s – the club has to adapt to another kind of football, another philosophy, another vision of football.

“He’s got a clear idea of how he wants his team to play, they’re in the semi-finals and they did well in the FA Cup [last season].

“They have been pretty inconsistent, but you’ve got to give him time and I think they’re convinced that Mikel can get a lot out of the squad and achieve big things.

“I’m great friends with him and whatever good happens to him and the club I’d be happy for them because I’m a Gunner.”