Is Arsenal Target Santi Cazorla A €20 Million Man?

Arsenal appear to be on the verge of signing Malaga winger Santi Cazorla. Meanwhile, Arsenal masses are hyping up their potential signing to the maximum, which is par for the course.

Being the curmudgeon that I am I’m obviously a little skeptical of this signing, which is also par for the course as far as my view on Arsenal signings go. I’ve done some research that doesn’t include YouTube videos that generally only show a player performing at their best and took a look at some of the numbers ‘ol Santiago has put up over the past few seasons. For the numbers he has put up and the domestic awards he has won, Arsenal are paying a pretty hefty price for a pretty mediocre player. That is if you are to believe the €20 million price tag that is being thrown around. So I’ve pitted him against the last two notable Spanish imports to the Premier League, Juan Mata & David Silva, to see how he stacks up and whether he really could be the superstar Arsenal think he can be or whether Arsenal are falling for the “Well, he’s Spanish so he has to be good” syndrome.

Through the power of Microsoft Word, I bring you a table to compare the stats for yourself:

Name 2011-2012 2010-2011 2010-2009 2009-2008
David Silva 6 Goals, 15 Assists 4 Goals, 7 Assists 8 Goals, 7 Assists 4 Goals, 7 Assists*
Juan Mata 6 Goals, 13 Assists 8 Goals, 12 Assists 9 Goals, 4 Assists 11 Goals, 13 Assists
Santi Cazorla 9 Goals, 5 Assists 5 Goals, 10 Assists 5 Goals, 2 Assists* 8 Goals, 5 Assists

*Player Missed significant time due to Injury

Now I’m aware that goals and assists aren’t everything but they’re a pretty good indicator of how a player, especially an attacker, does during a league campaign. Despite being older than both Silva and Mata, Cazorla has only been able to outperform Silva once while he was fully fit and that was Silva’s first season in the Premier League. It can also be noted that Silva and Mata both played for Valencia until the latter’s departure in 2010, but even then both players were able to put up top 25 numbers in regards to goals and/or assists. While both Mata and Silva are regularly in the rop 25 in regards to assists (in the case of Mata he’s only finished outside the Top 5 once in this span) Cazorla has only achieved that status once, in ’10-’11. Silva’s numbers may not be spectacular, but there is at least some consistency in them, which should be paramount when you’re going to be spending the sort of cash that Arsenal are looking to pony up.

Obviously numbers aren’t everything when it comes to evaluating players. Looking at the teams the players have been on, since 2008 the lowest any one of these men have finished was 7th in the league and that was Cazorla’s Villareal side in ’09-‘10. Looking in the trophy cabinets, Silva and Mata both have multiple cup successes (including a Copa Del Rey at Valencia) while I’m sure Cazorla has his Intertoto Cup medal displayed somewhere prominent in his house. For arguments sake, I know it’s tough to win silverware in La Liga with Madrid and Barcelona dominating everything, which makes it even more impressive that Mata & Silva were able to win the Copa.

To be clear, I’m not trying to discredit Cazorla as a footballer. He’s a fine player that has some potential to make it in the Premier League if you follow the trend that has been set by players like Silva and Mata. But the fact that Arsenal are looking to pay in the neighborhood of €20 Million for this guy is absolutely absurd. Granted Manchester City and Chelsea paid more for Silva and Mata, but those guys were 24 and 23 respectively when they came into the Premier League, with huge potential to grow and make those transfer fees worth it (which it could be argued they almost already have).

Cazorla is 27 and depending on who you ask is either in or just entering his prime as a player. If I’m shelling out that kind of money, I’m expecting double what I’ve seen from him up to this point. Cazorla has never scored double digit goals in a season and has only gone into double digits in assists once. Say what you want about his play and how he can fit into Arsene Wengers system, when you’re paying that much money you should be buying a star, not a nice player who just fits in. I have to ask, is this what player evaluations are coming to? Is €20 million worth, say, 7 goals and 6 assists a season? When Cazorla comes into the Premier League he’s not even going to be one of the top 25 players in the league. He may not even be in the top 50.

If your best season before entering your prime is barely 10 assists and only 5 goals, it is almost unfathomable that those numbers are going to sky rocket and all the sudden turn you into a world beater. What is happening to Arsenal is that they’re buying a Spanish player who barely contributed in the Euros and who was already overpaid for once. This is a recouping money maneuver for Malaga and Arsenal seems more than happy to help them do this. I do wish Mr. Cazorla luck in the Premier League next season, lord knows it’s not his fault that Arsenal are putting that price tag next to his name. Hopefully for him he is known as “Santi Cazorla, the guy who finally won Arsenal the Carling Cup” and not “Santi Cazorla, that guy who cost us €20 million.”

22 thoughts on “Is Arsenal Target Santi Cazorla A €20 Million Man?”

  1. “To be clear, I’m not trying to discredit Cazorla as a footballer.” Hmm. Seems like that’s your precise aim.

    “Hopefully for him he is known as “Santi Cazorla, the guy who finally won Arsenal the Carling Cup””. I know the club is said to lack ambition, but come on.

  2. Some fairly lazy analysis I’m afraid, let’s put these figures in context, cazorla has played for 2 clubs in the span of time you talk about, Villareal and malaga 2 clubs not established at the top, being the main man at both, having to play in LW, CAM, RW and even DM at points last year, with no world class strikers to support or to take the load off. Silva and Mate have equally played for 2 teams Valencia (with Villa and Soldado at different times, alongside being a team that won the league in 2002) and man city and chelsea respectively supporting the likes of Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli, dzeko, Torres, Drogba, sturridge and midfielders like yaya toure, nasri, barry, de jong, adam johnson, lampard, mierles, ramires, malouda to help them out and yet their figures did not increase significantly and yet you would say both have been great succeses and you would be right. So to acheive the figures Cazorla has at the clubs he has played at is impresive, to the point that graham hunter (sky and spanish football reporter) stated that he was the best player in spain outside the big 2 teams. I can’t say he will be a great success but nor do I claim that on his statistics he is not worthy of the price tag or that he won’t be in the top 50 players in the league. I feel on the basis of being a long term admirer of spanish football that he will be a success, particularly in a team that he has top players around him!

  3. here is a stat for you:

    According to WhoScored, he was the 4th highest rated player in La Liga coming only after
    C. Ronaldo

    1. From the same site: one of only two players not on Barcelona or Real Madrid’s teams named to the La Liga’s Best Eleven. Sounds solid, depending on how much faith you put in that site’s stats.

  4. I agree with the lazy analysis line from previous post. Since he’s (and other 2) are MIDFIELDERS not strikers, goals scored definitely don’t tell the whole story. They do of course if you’re using them to support your ‘analysis’. Try reading Tim Stillman’s “by the numbers post “. He throws in some ‘minor’ stuff like passing, accuracy, etc.

  5. For what it is worth, Transfermarkt values him at 17.5M.

    So, what, a 14% premium over at least one subjective measure right there. Not incredibly unreasonable, in that the fan base will be justifiably upset at RVP walking (as appears likely.)

    In terms of wanting to see flopping and diving and writhing on the turf, I myself prefer Italian football to the Spanish variant. So I can’t claim to be an expert here, but from what I have seen Cazorla is a nice player and would seem to fit in with what Wenger will want to be doing.

  6. Completely agree with Tom, you but cazorla behind aguero, tevez, dzeko or ballotelli and then see what happens!! The fee is anywhere from 15.6 – 20 million depending what you read. The guy is worth 10 million for his free kicks and delivery alone. If we sign him prepare to eat your words!!

  7. All big signings are overpriced. It’s a symptom of an overinflated market thanks to the uber-wealthy clubs throwing cash around. Criticise the economic state of the game if you’re going to criticise anything. Additionally this is the kind of signing Wenger was known to avoid in the past, but the past two seasons have shown he sees a need to augment his young players (who will be the stars) with capable veteran pieces.

  8. I think you should go and understand football very well before you tr to make any analysis on any footballer, you try to compare what Santi have done in his team and the players around him to what Mata and Silva have done given the clubs they have played in and still playing in: These two players statistics should have surpassed what Santis’ are. So my analyst please try and know your football first and foremost before you start analyzing. Thank you

  9. Haha what a pathetic comparison..people have already made the points of why it’s pathetic..Silva and Mata had decent players around them whereas Cazorla had not played with anyone as goid around him.Let him come to Arsenal and see his stats sky rocket..most likely better than Silva and Mata’s stats!! Your analysis is nonsensical comical gibberish!! Lol

  10. This is fantastic, one problem, Arsenal won’t pay 20m for him. so if it only costs them 15m, then does it change your entire argument in this article? I love your bias about being underwhelmed by Arsenal’s signings. How very Stuart Pearce of you.

  11. Arsenal aren’t falling for the “he’s Spanish, so he has to be good” syndrome. That’s ridiculous. It’s called scouting. Wenger has probably watched Cazorla’s match tapes in the past, since he is a well-known player.

  12. “Santi Cazorla, the guy who finally won Arsenal the Carling Cup” *Yawn*. Another tedious article by someone who clearly hasn’t done his “research”. I suggest whoever wrote this looks up Iniesta’s stats. Also note how he decides to omit any mention of Cazorla having won La liga’s player of the season in 2007. I can’t help but feel as though if Silva or Mata had a similar title, he wouldn’t shutup about it.

  13. €20million is not even a lot of money in today’s market and like everyone else has said, he seems well worth the money! If you want to talk about spending too much on a player lets look at Torres and Carroll! You are a terrible analyst and blogger/journalist.. Don’t give up your day job MUG!

  14. You are actually hilarious my friend. To actually know I’ve wasted a few minutes of my day reading your analysis fills my heart with shame. But not as much shame as you should have, who let you do the articles on this site??? For any plonker to say Santi Cazorla is not worth 20m EUROS (NOT STERLING) is actually ludicrous! Yet players like Stewart Downing were worth £16m were they? How about Ashley Young worth £20m-ish in the last year of his contract?.. I bet you said last summer that Fabregas was only worth £30m as well, that was pure robbery and now we’re doing the same, they are both worth double what is/has been paid for them. And before you say I know f*ck all I’ve lived in Mijas for seven years, went to quite a few Malaga games last season, Rondon ain’t all he’s cracked up to be imho, but Isla’s a solid little player… Take it from me them two will be gone by the end of next week.

  15. Why do some posters seem to think that being rude is the same as making a point? “This is Ground Control to Major Tom……..”

  16. After a wonderful display from Santiago in the 12/13 season, I’m sure MrTom would have wished he never wrote this. He’s hit double figures in goals and assists(in a debut season). See the reason why they rated him highly in Spain now?

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