Cazorla confirms Arsenal exit

22 May 2018 05:46:13 EST

Former Malaga midfielder Santi Cazorla has expressed his sadness after ending his six-year association with Arsenal.

The 33-year-old Spaniard, who has not played since October 2016 after being forced to endure several operations on his injured right ankle, has been linked with a summer switch to Villarreal.

Cazorla, whose Gunners contract expires this summer, made 180 appearances for the club and scored 29 goals after moving to north London from Malaga in 2012. He won two FA Cups during his time with the club.

"I'm very sad to be leaving after so many great times. I have loved my time with the club and I will always remember the special moments we had together," Cazorla said.

Meanwhile, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: "Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch. His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years."

Arsenal finished sixth in the Premier League in 2017/18 and will be playing in the Europa League for the second campaign in a row next season.

They are expected to name Unai Emery as their new manager this week following the end of Arsene Wenger's 22-year spell in charge of the club.

Arsenal are 7/2 to finish in the top four of the Premier League next season and 8/11 to finish fifth or lower.

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