Santi Cazorla will always be a beloved cult hero to Arsenal supporters, but it’s often forgotten that other players bought in alongside the playmaker made a substantial impact at the Emirates.
Cazorla was signed from Malaga in the summer of 2012 for a fee of £10 million and picked up the Man of the Match award after a superb debut performance against Sunderland.
The diminutive magician went on score 29 goals and provide 45 assists in 180 appearances for Arsenal, capturing hearts in the red corner of north London with regular moments of genius.
But, for just how good he was, he wasn’t the only arrival in 2012-13 to make their mark at Arsenal.
Arguably the most high-profile of Arsenal’s 2012-13 arrivals, Poldoski was expected to spearhead the Gunners’ quest to end a trophy drought that extended back to 2005.
But, while the Germany World Cup winner was part of Arsenal’s 2014 FA Cup winners and was loved by many of the club’s supporters, he wasn’t quite the prolific goalscorer many had expected him to be.
“Of course I am not happy with my situation right now,” Podolski said in November 2014 about his lack of game time. “I can’t be satisfied with that. It is hard when you can’t do what you love.”
Arsene Wenger loaned him out to Inter Milan the following January and Podolski made a permanent move to Turkey in the summer of 2015. He scored 31 times in 82 appearances for Arsenal.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 16, 2020
Maligned by some, Giroud performed admirably during his five-and-a-half-year spell at the Emirates.
Bought from Montpellier after their surprise Ligue 1 title victory, the devilishly handsome striker scored 105 times in 253 Arsenal appearances and possessed a penchant for the spectacular – even if the result didn’t end up in the back of the net.
Arsenal’s second signing from Malaga that season, Monreal played over 250 times for Arsenal and became a real fans’ favourite for his dedication to the club.
The Spaniard was part of three FA Cup-winning sides, despite the limitations of successive Arsenal sides of the era, and must be regarded as one of the rare successful transfers of Wenger’s last years at the Emirates.
“He is a great guy who I have a special affection for,” Monreal said of Wenger in 2021.
“A great person who always defended the player in front of the press. He always wanted to avoid any bad vibes.
“He dealt with the dressing room very well, and he gave me the opportunity to live those years in England. He is a man who gave Arsenal a lot in 22 years.”