London – Santi Cazorla has warned Arsenal’s rivals that his midfield partnership with Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere is developing rapidly ahead of their home game with Newcastle United.
The Gunners have strung together three successive Premier League wins, with the midfield trio starting together against West Bromwich Albion, Reading and Wigan Athletic, and contributing a total of six goals.
Those results helped Arsenal briefly climb up to third in the table, although they now find themselves in seventh place after their fixture against West Ham United on Wednesday was postponed because of a transport strike in London.
But with Newcastle next to visit the Emirates Stadium tomorrow, Spanish midfield star Cazorla believes the best is yet to come from his compatriot and 20-year-old Wilshere, who signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2018 earlier this month after 17 months out with injuries.
“Every day that goes by, we understand each other better,” said Cazorla. “It is very easy for me to play with them. Mikel is more of a tactical player, a very important player in any side. He always has to be well positioned, to cover the open spaces that we leave further up the field. And Jack is an amazing football player.
“I did not know him well because when I arrived he was injured, but every day that goes by I understand why he is so well rated here, and especially for what he brings to the team.”
Cazorla added: “He (Wilshere) has amazing potential. Every day he is gaining more confidence. He is forgetting about the injury and he is a key player that can influence the result in a game.”
Wilshere has made eight Premier League starts since his comeback in October, although he has yet to score in the league.
Arsenal were dumped out of the League Cup by third-tier side Bradford City and go into the meeting with Alan Pardew’s Newcastle trailing leaders Manchester United by 16 points, albeit with a game in hand.
Wilshere says he never doubted that he would extend his stay in north London and paid tribute to manager Arsene Wenger’s role in his development.
“He’s always been there for me,” said the England international.
“He (Wenger) showed faith in me when I was 18, and he stuck with me throughout the whole time I was injured. He knew the only thing that would get me better is games, and he stood by me.
“I need to thank him for that, and yes, he was a big part of why I signed.”