By Chris Harris
Santi Cazorla believes he will flourish at Arsenal because he can "play with freedom" in his new role.
Arsène Wenger deployed the Spanish playmaker in the 'No 10' role against Sunderland and Cazorla repaid his manager with an eye-catching display. The 27-year-old set up the best chance of the match for Olivier Giroud and almost broke the deadlock with a fierce shot in the first half.
Wenger praised Cazorla after the game and the Spaniard was also happy with his debut - and his position on the pitch.
"The manager played me as a second striker, with the freedom that I like to have," said Cazorla. "It’s a position I really like, and it's not one I’ve played in much in recent years, but I will play there without problems.
"It felt really good making my debut," he added. "Of course, it was not the result any of us wanted - we wanted to start the season by winning in front of our own fans, but we had chances and we did well.
"It’s a long season, so we can build on this. I had one chance and so did a few of my colleagues and that was the key to the game. We had complete control of the match but that final step just eluded us."
Cazorla has been an Arsenal player for less than two weeks but he is already feeling at home on and off the pitch.
"Every day I’m becoming more used to [my team-mates] and I'm enjoying myself more," he said. "The Club have done a lot to help me settle in the team and to make it easy for me to get used to life in the city. Every day is a little bit better and I feel a little more comfortable.
"Here in England there is a faster rhythm to the game, a higher tempo. In Spain games are more cautious, more tactical. Here there is more tempo, more to-ing and fro-ing, but I like it."
And Cazorla insists that his height will be no obstacle to success in the Premier League. "It’s overstated, the idea that smaller, technical players can’t do well here," he said.
"We have powerful players in Spain, too. Being tall isn’t what makes you a good footballer and I don’t think that’s the defining factor in English football at all."Copyright 2017 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