Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has claimed that he gave new Gunners boss Unai Emery advice on how to improve the side before leaving for Villarreal earlier in the summer.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 33-year-old discussed his conversation with the former Paris Saint-Germain boss, saying: "Emery is a great coach. He needs a period of adaptation but I think he can give them a leap in quality. In the summer he called to find out about the team and I told him the things that he had to change and the things he had to reinforce.
"No, that’s a secret (the advice). I said it was an incredible club that had everything it needed to win but that there were things that had to change. I said it would be hard to change some things because Arsène (Wenger) was there for 23 years and you can’t change 23 years overnight."
Cazorla left the Emirates Stadium after six seasons with the club, but his latter days in north London were blighted by a horrible injury that saw the Spain international spend a grand total of 668 days on the sidelines. Back with his former club Villarreal, Cazorla is looking to finish his career with a bang, and has made three solid appearances so far this season.
Buen partido del equipo ayer, empate en un campo muy complicado. Agradecer a la afición del @sevillafc en cariño mostrado! ¡Muchas gracias! Y muchos animos a SergioEscudero, te esperamos pronto de vuelta! @villarrealcf #endavant pic.twitter.com/ft6vZ0FffP— Santi Cazorla (@19SCazorla) August 27, 2018
The skilful midfielder was a real fans' favourite at Arsenal during his time in the Premier League, playing a pivotal role in the Gunners' back-to-back FA Cups in 2014 and 2015. Villarreal currently sit 18th after a tricky start to the campaign, and Cazorla will be looking to be a key figure in the sides' push back up the table.
In other news, Borussia Dortmund ace Marco Reus has claimed that Gunners man Mesut Özil is one of the best footballers he's played with, following the playmaker's retirement from international football. Özil called time on his Germany international career, following widespread criticism from both fans and the media over his conduct on and off the field.