Santi Cazorla: 'I feel important at Arsenal'


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The Independent Football

Midfielder Santi Cazorla says he is more appreciated in England than his native Spain, telling reporters he 'feels more important at Arsenal'.

The 27-year-old playmaker joined the Gunners during the summer for a fee in the region of £16m, and has taken little time to settle.

In his nine appearances for his new club, the Spain international has scored two goals and put in a number of man-of-the-match performances. The plaudits he's been receiving have been welcomed by the player himself.

"It could be that in the few months I have been there people have been talking a lot more about me," he told a news conference today ahead of Spain's World Cup qualifier away to Belarus.

Cazorla spent most of his career at Villarreal before joining Malaga last season where he helped the coastal club qualify for the Champions League for the first time. Since joining Arsenal he has quickly become a fans favourite, helping the team make a strong start to the season despite the departure of Robin van Persie during the summer.

"I feel important at Arsenal and I want to keep developing," he added.

"The way Arsenal play and the responsibility they have given me is something I have always sought out.

"I think it's a step forward in my career and I hope to improve a great deal in the future."

Despite his impressive performances this term, Cazorla understands that it will remain difficult to get ahead of the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas in the Spain team.

"I am happy with my role and it's a privilege to be here," he said of his Spain career.

"Hopefully I can continue to help out as much as possible, I am working every day towards that. I am feeling in very good shape and I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunities I am being given."

Spain will host France next week at Atletico Madrid's Calderon stadium where Cazorla will come up against Arsenal team-mates Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.

"We have to watch out for them," said Cazorla.