He hasn’t featured for Arsenal since a Champions League game against Ludogorets in October 2016 and he’s had a staggering nine ankle surgeries. Will Santi Cazorla make a return to the pitch in 2018?
“That’s for me the disastrous news of the day,” Arsene Wenger told reporters last month about Cazorla going under the knife once again.
“I feel really sorry for Santi, he’s a guy I admire, that we all love here. Who came here to training every day with a smile because he loves so much the game. And for him not to be available for us it’s a big blow but for him as well, it’s something that is difficult to take.”
Cazorla’s Copa90 five-shot challenge video above (filmed in 2016) reminds us of the Spanish midfielder’s capabilities. Here’s hoping we see him in action in 2018.
To many corners of the football world, Lionel Messi is a figure of near perfection.
Barcelona‘s iconic No10 has broken just about every metric record there is to surpass and has filled his cabinet with practically every trophy on offer.
Lauded as the greatest of all time, the 30-year-old is evolving his game as he enters the next phase of his career, adopting the role of both playmaker and goalscorer for the Catalan giants this season.
However, the Argentine maestro humbly believes he is far from perfect with his struggles from the penalty spot one area he’s singled out for improvement.
Speaking to Russian outlet Blic Sport, he said: “I want to be perfect and yet there are some parts of game I have to improve to reach the maximum level.
“Which part? Penalties, I have to practice them more.”
While still very much at the peak of his powers, attention will no doubt turn towards life beyond the pitch as Messi turns 31 this year.
However, he’s ruled out swapping his Barca strip for a managerial suit once his playing career draws to a close.
“I will probably not be a coach after I retire, but there is enough time, I can still change my mind,” he added.
“At home we rarely speak about football, it has to be something special around Barcelona or Argentina to open discuss about football during family lunch.”
And it seems the family life narrative is something which Messi is most proud of as he continued: “Being a parent is an incredible feeling. A huge change, in every way. I’m looking at some things from a completely different angle now.
The role of the father is the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in my life. Indescribable.
“I’m a person like everyone else. I lead a completely normal life with my family. Okay, I wish sometimes that I’m not so familiar and that I can walk freely.”
The transfer window is now open!
Here, we take a look at the biggest stories dominating the headlines today.
Will any of the following deals happen?
Let us know your thoughts.
Philippe Coutinho has played his last game for Liverpool as Spanish outlet Sport have claimed a switch to Barcelona is “very, very close”.
The 25-year-old wasn’t in the squad for the Red’s 2-1 win over Burnley on New Year’s Day and is said to be reluctant to play so to avoid picking up an injury ahead of a move to Camp Nou.
The rhetoric regarding Coutinho is changing every day with reports in England suggesting Liverpool will sell at £130million and outlets in Spain claiming the deal is all-but completed.
Barca are said to be increasingly confident of getting a deal over the line in January and at this point it’s probably in the best interests of all parties to have it completed as soon as possible. Another protracted transfer between Liverpool and the Catalan giants appears to be reaching its end.
Manchester United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has ruled out leaving Lazio.
The Serbia international is one of the most in-demand young midfielders in Europe with the Red Devils said to be planning a £95million offer.
However, speaking to Novosti he said: “I don’t think about leaving Lazio, because I’m very happy in Rome.”
The 22-year-old forms the fulcrum of Simone Inzaghi’s side having scored five goals in 17 Serie A appearances and with Lazio pushing for a Champions League spot it seems the likes of United and Paris Saint-Germain will be forced to bide their time.
Barcelona forward Arda Turan has been offered to AC Milan and Everton, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Turkey international is well out of favour at Cam Nou and is yet to make a single appearance this season.
Besiktas are also said to be interested in signing the 30-year-old who will be desperate to get some first-team football back under his belt.
The winger’s agent has been speaking to clubs around Europe but it remains to be seen as to which club will bite.