Santi Cazorla has backed the idea of being paired with a more defensive-minded player in Arsenal’s midfield.

The Spaniard was expected to lose his place in Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven following the arrival of Mesut Ozil in 2013, but he has retained his role in the side.

Ever since an impressive performance alongside Francis Coquelin in a 2-0 over Manchester City in 2015, Cazorla has been a regular in Arsenal’s midfield.

According to the former Malaga star, Wenger’s decision to not play two holding midfielders and leave him on the bench has been very helpful towards his game.

“There are two things,” he told the club’s official website.

“You can have a more defensive player on one side and another more creative one on the other.

“At Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez was the creator but he had a player like Sergio Busquets alongside him, or Yaya Toure, players who were more defensive than him and gave him that freedom we creative players need.

“I’m very comfortable because, when I play with Francis Coquelin, with Mohamed Elneny, with Xhaka, they help me a lot in that position.

“I’ve been lucky the boss has always had confidence in me. Now, I’ve played many games with Arsenal, it’s clear every year is more difficult.

“We have many players of a very high level and I think it’s a very good thing for the manager.”

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