Former Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao insists Santi Cazorla is one of the Gunners’ greatest ever players.
Cagigao was one of 55 staff made redundant by the Premier League club last month in a bid to cut costs but played a key role in bringing some top talent to the Emirates.
As Head of International Scouting he was a key cog in efforts to land a 16-year-old Cesc Fabregas, while he can also be credited for the signings of Lauren, Emiliano Martinez, Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli.
However, speaking exclusively to European football expert Guillem Balague, Cagigao thinks that Spanish midfielder Cazorla could be his best acquisition of the lot.
The former Villarreal star played for six seasons at Arsenal, helping them win two FA Cups, but struggled with massive injury problems throughout his time in north London.
He said: “I think he is one of the most talented footballers that I have ever seen. You would watch Santi in training take set pieces with his right foot and his left foot, and you would be thinking which is his stronger foot?
“An absolutely exceptional technical ability, great footballing awareness, intelligence and intuition, and what a positive, intelligent, bright, fantastic person he is.
“He is an exceptional figurehead and someone that young players can really look to.
“There were doubts about Santi because people would say, he's so small, he's not the quickest, he's not powerful, but he has an exceptional football brain, exceptional technique, he's competitive, he's a winner.
“For me is was very, very clear. I'm sure Arsene will tell you as well that he was one of the best players that he has ever worked with."
Asked about the reasons behind his dismissal, 50-year-old Cagigao said: "That is not really a question I can answer. I think that's a question for someone else.
"You can't afford to be bitter in life and you have to have a thick skin and get over things quickly.
"I'm very proud of the time I spent and I'm proud of my personal achievements and I also very privileged to have worked for Arsenal FC.
"A club where I was able to learn, where I met and worked with some incredible people over the years."
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