Santi Cazorla: How I have had to step up my game at Arsenal

Santi Cazorla admits that he is enjoying playing in a deeper midfield role for Arsenal

Santi Cazorla admits that he has had to become “more defensively aware” since joining Arsenal.

The Spanish playmaker has been a regular fixture in the north London side’s first team since joining the club from Malaga back in the summer of 2012.

Cazorla was largely used as a No10 in the earlier part of his Gunners career, but has dropped deeper to support Francis Coquelin in the holding midfield role in recent months.

The 30-year-old midfielder admits that he has had to get used to his new position in recent months but says that he is now relishing being deployed in that role.

Cazorla told Arsenal Player: “The boss changed my position last season to play me more centrally.

“It’s a position I really like, though of course it means I’m further away from the opposing area so I have fewer chances to score. I’m finding my best form and I’m really enjoying the new position.

“You have different responsibilities. In terms of defence, you have to defend more and you have to help the team more in terms of making sure you’re well-positioned to ensure the players in attack can stay fresh.

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“We need the likes of Mesut, Alexis, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Giroud to be fresh – so that means myself, Coquelin, Arteta and Flamini need to be well-positioned to ensure those in attack can perform as well as possible.”

The former Malaga man will be expecting to feature when Arsenal return to Premier League action with a trip to Swansea City in the top flight on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners are currently second in the table and level on points with leaders Manchester City.

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