Wenger - How Santi has surprised me

Santi Cazorla's skill and vision has not surprised Arsene Wenger this season - but his strength and stamina has.

The Arsenal manager knew he had recruited a richly-talented playmaker when he signed Cazorla from Malaga last summer and the Spaniard's haul of 12 goals and seven assists in the Premier League is a fine return for a debut season.

The influential Cazorla has featured in each of Arsenal's 35 Premier League games - starting all but one of them - and 92 per cent of all first-team fixtures. That's a nine-year high for the Gunners and Wenger says that Cazorla has been just as consistent in training.

"It is absolutely amazing," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "I’ll tell you something - if you count the number of training sessions he has missed it will be similar to that [the games he has missed].

"I can’t remember the number of sessions where he had an injury. His consistency has been remarkable for the games and the training sessions. And one might explain the other one.

"I was not aware of it [Cazorla's stamina before he signed]," added Wenger. "I did check the number of games he played but I was not aware that he would have such stamina in the Premier League.

"I expected him to miss more games because the league is very tough physically. The duels are tough. It shows he has a remarkable body but it shows he is intelligent as well because he knows where to go [on the pitch]."

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