Santi Cazorla says he felt "a responsibility" to make an instant impact in his first season at Arsenal.

The Spanish playmaker has emerged as one of Arsène Wenger's most influential players since arriving from Malaga last summer and has 12 goals and seven assists in the Premier League alone.

Cazorla on his season
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Cazorla could have been forgiven for taking time to adapt to the rigours of English football but he found his feet sooner than some of Wenger's most famous imports.

The 29-year-old puts that down to his own high standards - and a warm welcome from the Arsenal fraternity.

"It’s been very good," Cazorla told Arsenal Player. "I’m enjoying the atmosphere here, especially the warmth shown by the Arsenal fans, which I didn’t expect to receive from day one.

"The club and my team-mates did a lot to help me settle in. Being new, coming into a different culture and not speaking the language is always difficult.

"But Arsenal made me feel part of everything right from the off, as if I’d been part of the side for years, and this was reflected in my performances on the pitch. I felt at home and I played well. But you can always improve.

"You always have the responsibility to play well," added Cazorla. "When you’re new and have arrived at such a big club like Arsenal, you’re aware of your responsibility to bring good performances onto the pitch.

Arsenal made me feel part of everything right from the off, as if I’d been part of the side for years

"I’ve tried to apply this right from my first game. I’ve tried to play the best I can, play at the best level possible.

"As well as my team-mates making the transition easier, I promised myself I would make sure I did things well and, considering the money that Arsenal spent on me, I didn’t want to let anyone down."

Cazorla admits he was helped by the footballing ethos at his new club, which allowed him to hit the ground running.

"Arsenal’s style of football is very similar to the teams I’ve played in before," he explained. "The focus on pass and move, and keeping possession, suits my playing style. That’s why I adapted so well.

"Arsène has instilled a club philosophy at Arsenal of keeping the ball, making sure the team builds up play from the back and doesn’t play route one football. It’s definitely been an important factor for me."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 2 May 2013