Former Arsenal fan favourite Santi Cazorla has completed a transfer to Real Oviedo following his departure from Al-Sadd in Qatar.

Cazorla progressed through the youth ranks at Oviedo before moving to Villarreal in 2003, and 20 years later, he has now made an emotional return to where it all started.

The 38-year-old departed Arsenal in 2018 after a horrific injury kept him sidelined for over a year and a half, but he made a heroic return to action for Villarreal and found his best form again.

Romano has now revealed an incredible factor of the deal to bring him back to Real Oviedo on a one-year deal, as Cazorla has requested that he gets paid the minimum salary allowed by La Liga 2, and 10% of the profits from his shirt sales will be used to fund the club’s youth academy.

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Real Oviedo confirmed his return with an imaginative announcement video, in which Arsenal shirts can be spotted.

A hero at all his clubs

It’s hard to think of an Arsenal player from recent times more universally loved than Cazorla, and his gesture upon his return to Oviedo speaks volumes about the player.

One of the best midfielders of the ‘Emirates era’ at Arsenal, Cazorla scored 29 and assisted 45 times in 180 appearances, helping Arsene Wenger’s side win two FA Cups.

His performance away at Manchester City, in which Arsenal recorded an impressive 2-0 victory in 2015, stands out as one of his best displays, and his elite technique, as well as his ability to use both feet, made him a fan favourite at the Emirates.

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Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Cazorla’s time at Arsenal was cut short by an injury which almost cost him his footballing career, and he departed without the chance of a farewell. He has since spoken about his desire to return to the club, and perhaps he could join Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff once he decides to end his spell in Oviedo.

“Of course I would like to come back. I have to wait if the club thinks about me, if I can help in something – as a coach or a sporting director,” he stated last year.

Arsenal fans may now be keeping a closer eye on Real Oviedo’s results in the Spanish second division.

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