Arsène Wenger says signing Santi Cazorla was a “gamble” that he had to take.

The Spain international has been a huge success since his arrival from Malaga in the summer of 2012.

Wenger initially did not know whether Cazorla would adapt to English football but says his overall quality convinced him in the end.

His technical quality, his right foot, left foot, his availability, his vision and the quality of his passing made me go for it.

Arsène Wenger

“You could question whether he was physically equipped to play in the tough Premier League,” the manager told Arsenal.com. “It's true that I had that doubt, but his quality was so big that I was ready to take that gamble.

“His technical quality, his right foot, left foot, his availability, his vision and the quality of his passing made me go for it.

“I thought, 'If there is a team in the Premier League where he has a chance to make it, it's with us.' That's why I went for it.”

Wenger had been tracking Cazorla for some time when he eventually moved for the playmaker, and used a club legend to help the scouting process.

“I think I first saw him when he was about 20 or 21,” he said. “He was not a regular player, but in some games we watched you could see he had talent.

Video on Arsenal Player

Watch a Santi hat-trick from his first season at Arsenal

“After that Robert Pires moved to Villarreal and played with him. Sometimes I asked Robert, ‘Are there any good players there?’

“He said to me straight away, ‘Cazorla is a fantastic player’. So Robert was a scout for me! He at least confirmed the impression I already had about Santi.”

Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
Rob Kelly 8 Oct 2015