A long-term ankle injury cut Santi’s 2016/17 season short in October, as the Spanish playmaker endured a frustrating fifth term in north London.
One of the Premier League’s most technically-gifted players, our No 19 was restricted to just 11 games before limping off after 57 minutes of our Champions League group-stage win over Ludogorets at Emirates Stadium.
Santi has established himself as an integral part of the first-team squad since arriving at the club in 2012 and, when he was available last season, his importance to the side was emphasised once more, with the Llanera-born midfielder claiming two goals and three assists, including a dramatic winner from the penalty spot in the third minute of injury time against Southampton.
Although Santi (full name Santiago Cazorla Gonzalez) may not have played a key part in our 2017 Emirates FA Cup triumph, his sublime free-kick to spark an unforgettable comeback against Hull City in 2014 and his convincing central-midfield partnership with Francis Coquelin during the 2015 success have helped establish him as one of our most popular players with fans and team-mates alike.
The Spanish Player of the Year in 2006/07, Santi, who came through the youth ranks at Real Oviedo, signed from Malaga in 2012, having spent three seasons at Villarreal and one with Recreativo.
He has represented Spain on more than 70 occasions and was part of the squads that won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, as well as appearing in at the 2014 World Cup finals.