Villarreal are planning to extend Santi Cazorla’s contract, EPM reports. When Villarreal gave him a contract in the summer after Arsenal let his contract expire, it was essentially a one-year deal, with a low base salary and a per-game payment. Since Santi hadn’t played in two years, and no one knew how quickly he would return to being the midfield magician he was before, this made sense.
Well, clearly Santi has exceeded everyone’s expectations and is a key player as we try to get out of the relegation zone and safely in the Primera for next year. (In fact, maybe THE key one—this analysis is quite good).
The club clearly wants to exercise the option for another year, and surely Santi does as well, so presumably whatever negotiations need to take place won’t take that long.
If you read Spanish, I highly recommend this interview with Juan Carlos Herranz, the physiotherapist in Salamanca who worked with Santi beginning in July 2017 on his rehabilitation. In January 2017 an English doctor told Santi he should basically be happy if he could kick the ball around with his son in his garden. Santi had more surgery, came to Salamanca, limping, in July 2017, left his family in London, moved into a hotel in Salamanca and went through grueling rehab.
He had his last training in Salamanca exactly a year after arriving there, headed to Villarreal for the preseason. And a month later, the little magician was introduced to the crowd at the Ceramíca via a magician’s trick. Now he’s played in 30 of our first 36 matches (all competitions), has five goals and six assists (I may be missing some in the Copa) and is our top-rated player on WhoScored in La Liga matches.
As Herranz said “no other footballer would have achieved what he has achieved.” And so say all of us!