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Raul Sanllehi’s plan to make Santi Cazorla’s Arsenal dream a reality

Santi Cazorla’s dream is to make an emotional return to Arsenal before retiring.

The midfielder was certainly a popular figure among the Gunners supporters during his time at the club and even following his departure on a free transfer in the summer of 2017, some fans are still following his progress with Villarreal as well as the Spain national team.

Many have even called on the club to bring Cazorla back to the Emirates Stadium so that he can have a proper send off.

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And that could happen.

As revealed by @REDactionAFC on Twitter following the second Fans Forum of the season, there is the possibility for Cazorla to return the Emirates at some point to complete his goodbyes to the fans.

Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi, has a connection with Cazorla’s agent so a plan is due to be discussed at the end of the season once schedules for both Arsenal and Villarreal are clear.

football.london understands Arsenal are exploring options to bring Cazorla back to the Emirates, though it is as yet too early to even be sure in what capacity that might be.

A pre-season friendly against Villarreal could be an option but the 35-year-old has publicly spoken of his desire to pull on the red shirt one last time.

Arranging that whilst Cazorla is still contracted to Villarreal would be complex but there is a will from Arsenal to find some way for the Emirates Stadium to wish the Spaniard a fond farewell.

He was a hugely popular figure during his six years in north London and it was with regret that they allowed him to depart in the summer of 2018. An Achilles tendon injury had ravaged Cazorla in his final years and when he hobbled out of a 6-0 win over Ludogorets Razgrad he had no idea it would be his final game, with nine operations needed just to recover his playing career.

Cazorla, who only briefly returned to the Emirates when he trained there before the 2018 Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, has recently revealed it’s his dream to represent the club one more time before his retirement.

“I don’t know if it’s possible or not, but I want to play one more game for Arsenal before I retire. It was a deep regret that I could never have a proper goodbye,” he told  Goal.

“Arsenal was the biggest club I ever played for. I’m proud that I was an Arsenal player. I’m especially grateful for Arsenal fans who supported me even after I left the club.

“I wish I can be part of the Gunners family in the future again.”