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Cazorla rates Arsenal team-mate Wilshere

In an interview with Arsenal Magazine, Santi Cazorla claimed that much of the hype around England international Jack Wilshere is justified. "He has liberated me because, when he is on the pitch, the opposition have to think about him, how to handle him and that gives me even more space," Cazorla said.

"Jack is an incredible player. He gives us something different. He has, for me, characteristics that not many players have. He's a player that's very strong. That surprised me because he's more or less my height and then you see him manage the left very well, he gives you a one-two, he doesn't have fear of facing anything.

"That gives the team that ability to change the rhythm of games. It gives the team something extra. He has everything, a mix. He wins a lot of ball then, in attack, he makes things happen. I'm sure he's going to become much, much better.

"He can do great things. As such, it's normal that England and Arsenal see him as a great hope, because he's very young, he has a brilliant career ahead of him, a lot of potential." Cazorla, meanwhile, rejected the idea that the Premier League is more physical than Spain.

"The English have a reputation for hard men but I don't think that's the issue that separates the leagues," Cazorla said. "There are aggressive players in all the leagues and I don't think England are the exception in that regard.

"They [stick the boot in] the same amount in Spain but, here, they allow more to go unpunished. In Spain, with minimal contact, they might blow the whistle. In England, in that sense, they're a bit more permissible.

"It isn't as tactical [in England]. Here, the matches are more fun, more open. There are more incidents in the boxes, it's more end to end. And, for that, I think the games are more entertaining for the fans because they know a game can turn. It's notably more open and that means there is more contact. In Spain, you have more time in your own half."

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Dave Williams

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