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Football fans react to Wenger's class gesture before Cazorla's foot surgery 

ANALYST
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1.63K   //    10 Sep 2018, 13:23 IST

San
Santi Cazorla

Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla left the Emirates to join Spanish side Villarreal this summer following Arsenal's refusal to offer him a new deal. The Spaniard was a fan favorite who spent some of the best years of his career at Arsenal until injuries bogged him down in the last two seasons and eventually led to his departure from the club.

The Villarreal midfielder moved to the North London club from Malaga in 2012. He played 148 games in all competitions for Arsenal and won two FA Cups and two Community Shields with the side.

Cazorla enjoyed four seasons at North London, pulling strings in the Arsenal midfield, but the midfielder did not play a single game last season owing to a severe Achilles injury.

The injury was so bad that it required him to undergo ten operations and almost cost him his career. Prior to his recovery process, however, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger decided to award the midfielder with a one-year contract extension with the aim to help him focus solely on his recovery.

The former Arsenal man has now admitted that he is ‘eternally grateful’ for Wenger’s decision to give him the new contract.

In an interview with The Guardian, Cazorla said, "Arsène always supported me. He renewed my contract before the first operation, which was an incredible gesture. He called me in: 'Santi, I'm going to give you the optional year. It's here, sign it, have your operation with peace of mind.' That helped me focus on my rehabilitation without fear. I'm eternally grateful for that."

Fans have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts on the news:

The former Gunners midfielder has also revealed that he is sad at not being able to say a proper goodbye to the club's fans prior to his move to Villarreal.

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