It’s been well over a year since Santi Cazorla last played his competitive game for Arsenal.
In October 2016, to be precise, when he picked up an injury to his ankle playing in the Champions League. He initially hurt his ankle back in 2013 while he was away on international duty with Spain, but the recurring issue got significantly worse and has kept the diminutive midfielder out of action for the last 13 months.
Santi Cazorla was hoping for the New Year return but on Wednesday he released a statement and published a post on his social media to confirm that he will require a further surgery to his injury.
Debido a unas molestias en el tendón que llevaba arrastrando los ultimos dias, he tenido que volver a pasar por el quirofano. Toca retrasar la fecha de vuelta a los terrenos de juego, mantengo la ilusión y motivación para volver a disfrutar de mi gran pasión, el futbol.#football
With his contract with Arsenal due to expire at the end of the current season, Santi Cazorla faces a big decision despite his burning desire to return to his ‘great passion’.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is a loveable footballer and one of the fan favourites at Arsenal.
For a good reason too as he is highly regarded as one of the best in his position, whereas he is at the same time perceived as a genuinely nice guy.
In an emotional interview with the Spanish newspaper Marca published earlier this month, Santi Cazorla opened up on the extent of his horrific injury and fears of even losing his foot to gangrene after contracting an infection.
The extent of infection was such that Cazorla also revealed there was a consideration as to whether his foot should be amputated but the Spaniard refused to give up.
The Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger recently spoke about Cazorla’s injury describing it as ‘the worst I’ve ever seen’ which could even sound like an understatement knowing that the Spaniard lost eight centimetres of his Achilles tendon to gangrene.
Should Cazorla Hang Up His Boots?
Doctors told Cazorla he should be lucky just to be able to walk again in the garden with his son, but Cazorla refuse to give up the fight.
“It is time to delay the return date to the playing fields, but I maintain the enthusiasm and motivation to return to enjoy my great passion, football.”, his most recent tweet reads.
His passion for the game is commendable and admirable but the Arsenal playmaker should genuinely consider taking a step back in adopting a pragmatic approach toward the analysis of his professional future.
At 32 years of age, Cazorla is not getting any younger. And with the timeframe for his possible return pushed further forward, he should seriously consider hanging up his boots.
Cazorla’s future at Arsenal remains in the balance and although the Gunners could choose to extend his deal for a year it would be out of courtesy rather than out of genuine belief that the Spaniard could return stronger to help the north London club in the 2018/19 season.
Delicate nature of Cazorla’s injury makes it almost impossible to predict when the Spanish midfielder could actually get back to full fitness. Even if he recovers in time for the next season, Cazorla is unlikely to ever be that same old flamboyant midfield maestro known for his speed, shot accuracy and the overall dazzling rhythm of play.
The miracle he is waiting to happen has possibly already happened and Cazorla should take the doctors’ advice and enjoy the chance he was given to be able to walk with his child on two feet again.