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League is in our sights – Cazorla

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Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League...LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Santi Cazorla of Arsenal celebrates scoring to make it 2-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)...S

Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League...LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal celebrates scoring to make it 2-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)...S

Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League...LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal celebrates scoring to make it 2-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)...S

Santi Cazorla is convinced Arsenal's renewed self-belief will see them challenging for the Premier League title next season – by when they are expected to have £22million Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain on board.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is determined to bolster his squad over the summer, with Higuain emerging as the leading target as talks with Real Madrid continue for the forward, who scored 16 La Liga goals last season and has also been tracked by Juventus.

France U21 forward Yaya Sanogo is set to arrive on a free from Auxerre, while the likes of England forward Wayne Rooney, Swansea defender Ashley Williams and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini are also reported targets, as is Croatian teenager Tin Jedvaj at Dinamo Zagreb.

With a few additions, Arsenal will look to build on a superb run at the end of last season which saw them win eight of their final 10 league matches to finish fourth and secure a Champions League play-off place.

Cazorla, who impressed in his debut season following last summer's move from Malaga, is convinced the Gunners can maintain their momentum when the new campaign begins against Aston Villa in August.

"When the team doesn't win and we don't get the results we want, the collective confidence does drop a little and that is natural. Now we have put in a spectacular run-in and you can see the difference in mentality," Cazorla said.

"We have great players. I am sure next season we will be a better team and improve. Next season we hope we can be even better and win trophies and the supporters can enjoy it, that is what Arsenal really wants."

 

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The Gunners' wage bill has already been reduced by the release of Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci.

Other surplus fringe players like Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, who is in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt, Morocco forward Marouane Chamakh and South Korean Park Chu-Young are all also expected to leave this summer before the squad heads to Asia for a lucrative pre-season tour which includes matches in Vietnam and Japan.

Following Alex Ferguson's retirement, Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League.

With Jose Mourinho having returned to Chelsea, David Moyes moving to Old Trafford and Manuel Pellegrini recently taking over at Manchester City, there is an element of uncertainty over Arsenal's championship rivals.

Cazorla, though, does not feel that necessarily will prove a hindrance, believing his former boss at Malaga will "make City a better team".

The Spain international added: "I do not think it influences too much.

"The most radical change is at Manchester United because Ferguson has been there for so long.

"It will be a little difficult at the start for a new manager, but I don't think it influences too much in terms of being an advantage for other teams.

"There are great managers at those clubs and I am sure it will be just as difficult."


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