Arsenal are currently enjoying an eight-game purple patch that includes six victories and two draws and sees them flying high as one of the in-form teams of the Premier League season.
New additions Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez have all started strongly, while the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott are all in blistering form.
You might well say that Arsenal are having as good a time at the moment as they have probably had in a decade. However, a solitary storm cloud is lurking on the horizon. A storm cloud in the form of Santi Cazorla.
The stand-in club captain has been a regular feature in Arsène Wenger’s lineup this term, with over 600 minutes, two goals and two assists already to his name.
However, with his contract set to run down at the end of the season and with no sign of an extension on the table, it is being reported by Football Insider that the Spaniard is open to a move away from the Emirates, should his playing time be reduced by the highly competitive environment at the club.
Speaking to local Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Cazorla admits:
“I’m very happy here. The club has treated me very well. I’m in a great club and I’m playing minutes which is what I want.
“If I didn’t play, then I would consider leaving but that is not the case. I have this season left under contract and we will see what the club decides regarding my future. I will also decide what is best for me.”
Though a new contract has yet to materialise, thus putting fans at unease, it is clear that the 31-year-old is happy with life in London. For how long, however, remains to be seen should this delay run into the mid-season transfer window.
Cazorla’s comment should therefore come as a timely reminder to the Gunners boss as a player with his qualities would likely be snapped up during the January or summer transfer windows.
There is still plenty of time to rectify any transfer speculation surrounding the veteran midfielder, however the longer it is left the larger that storm cloud will loom.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena