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Is £15m Arsenal man heading back to his homeland this summer?

| 07.12.2014

The problem with being an attacking midfielder for Arsenal is that, because there is so many of them, any one of the gifted final-third wizards could be deemed surplus to requirements at any point, no matter how well they are playing.

Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Alexis Sanchez all have a case to be made to play in the number 10 role for Arsene Wenger, which often means the Frenchman uses those left over either out of position or sparingly.

In the case of Cazorla, the Spaniard has been a regular for the Frenchman this term, starting 11 Premier League games and appearing in three more from the bench. The former Malaga man has impressed when he has played too, although without quite living up to the scoring reputation he developed in recent years.

Cazorla scored his first top-flight goal of the season in the 3-2 defeat to Stoke last time out, a result that leaves the Gunners one point outside the top four and 4/7 shots to return to the Champions League next term.

With two assists to his name during the campaign as well, Cazorla is not doing the headline-grabbing work that Sanchez is managing and could find his spot in the side under threat when Arsenal are at full strength.

Perhaps wary of that, three Spanish clubs are reportedly weighing up to bring the 29-year-old back to his homeland, with defending champions Atletico Madrid chief among them.

The La Liga winners are thought to be preparing a bid to lure Cazorla, who cost £15m in 2012, away from north London at the end of the season, with Wenger likely to consider the move due to his midfielder’s age and expiring contract.

Cazorla turns 30 this month and will have just one year left on his current deal should he remain with the club next season, two factors that could tempt the French boss to sell his Spanish pass master in order to get the optimum price.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.