‘I need to have contact with the ball’

Santi Cazorla says he loves playing in his new deeper position because he is much more involved in the game.

The Spain playmaker joined Arsenal as a No 10, and featured behind the striker and on the left-hand side in his first two years with the club.

However, Cazorla played the majority of last season as a deep-lying playmaker at the base of Arsenal’s midfield and is relishing his new role.

"The more I touch the ball, the more confident I get and that’s why I need to have contact with the ball"

Santi Cazorla

“I’m always ready to play in any position on the field,” he told Arsenal Player. “Luckily I’ve played in many different places, such as both wings, behind the striker or as a midfielder. Therefore, I am no stranger to this new position.

“As soon as the manager informed me about my role change, I told him I was ready for it. To be honest I’ve found myself very comfortable in this new position since the very first day. I’m a player who needs to touch the ball as much as possible and for any possible purpose on the pitch, from giving an assist to a short pass.

“The more I touch the ball, the more confident I get and that’s why I need to have contact with the ball. If I don’t touch it for a period of time I feel uneasy. Thanks to playing in this new position, I’m touching the ball a lot and that makes me happy. I’m loving my new position on the pitch.”

Cazorla has also been given more responsibility as Arsenal’s third-choice captain and he believes his positive outlook can only help the team continue to improve.

“I believe that happiness and togetherness are positive values that are reflected on the pitch,” he said. “I’m not the only happy character at the club. Alexis, for example, is always joking around. The very nice environment we have in the changing room certainly has an impact on the game.

“Players feel at ease, which is good for creativity, but it works the other way round too. If there’s a bad environment in the club it will affect performance, so I believe it’s very important to have a good time together off the pitch as that will have a positive impact on the team’s performances.”

Santi Cazorla

Santi Cazorla

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