• Premier League

Cazorla was hopeful of Suarez signing

ESPN staff
November 22, 2013
Arsenal had two bids for Luis Suarez rejected in the summer © PA Photos

Santi Cazorla has admitted he was hopeful Arsenal would sign Luis Suarez in the summer, but expressed his delight at the addition of midfielder Mesut Ozil.

Arsene Wenger's side placed two bids for the Liverpool striker during pre-season, while also reportedly making a move for Napoli recruit Gonzalo Higuain.

Neither move eventuated, although Arsenal made the prized signing of Ozil, and Cazorla is confident Suarez could have made a positive difference at the Emirates.

In an interview with the Guardian, the Spain international conceded there were some doubts over whether Ozil was the right move.

"Above all because we'd been hearing about strikers: Higuain, Luis Suarez, striker, striker, striker... Our striker was Giroud and you think: 'What if he gets injured? What do we need?' We expected a No. 9 but circumstances meant we couldn't get Luis. Liverpool resisted," he said.

"With Higuain, Napoli got in ahead [of us] and he chose Italy. Suarez's incredible. I'd have loved it if he had come; his style would have suited us. Arsenal did all they could and he wouldn't have minded.

"But Liverpool didn't want to sell, which they're entirely entitled to do, and he's playing incredibly again. It's a pity he's not on our team! [Arsenal] saw some doors shut and, when they saw the chance to get Mesut, it was an opportunity to thump a fist on the desk, to make a statement. He's a superb signing. He's brought ilusion, optimism and hope."

Cazorla also reflected on the optimism Ozil's signing gave to the Premier League leaders, with his own reaction to the move an indication of the Germany international's influence.

"I was like a little kid. I was injured, so it was a few more days before I had the chance to train with him," Cazorla added. "And I was getting really excited. A great player's coming and one you know you're going to fit with, enjoy playing with. I was a fan, looking forward to it.

"It was strange. I spoke to friends at Real Madrid who told me that Mesut was talking to Arsenal, that he wanted to leave. You hear about it but you still see it as something a long way off. You think, 'How are Madrid going to let Mesut go?' It's puzzling.

"He's one of the best in the world and you don't really believe it. We were talking about it: 'It's close... it could happen... they've agreed...' Then one day the manager said: 'We've signed Mesut.' And the happiness was immense.

"He can seem intermittent but when he has the ball he's different. You get that feeling something's going to happen. It's palpable. He has huge quality and we're lucky he chose us when he had other options. The manager's playing him as media-punta, where he performs best. Our style suits him and with time so will the Premier League."

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close