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Santi couldn’t refuse mammoth Spain trip, says Wenger

21:05 16 November 2012

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla had no choice but to embark on a wasted 10,000 mile trip to Panama with Spain because his national side has such an embarrassment of riches and could easily drop him for another superstar if he refused.

Still, the Arsenal manager is quietly delighted that his playmaker did not play in the international friendly as he returned injury free.

“If you are selected, you have to go unless you say you’re injured,” the Gunners boss said.

“I understand that players want to play for the national team and in Spain the competition is so high that if a guy turns it down and they [Spanish FA] have a suspicion there, the next time he will not be called up.

“Could Cazorla have done without that trip? Of course.

“Maybe he would have got injured, so I personally don’t complain.

“He must not be very happy.”

But Wenger was willing to bet money that there will have been other players across the continent who will be passed fit to play this weekend after pulling out of games for their countries.

He said: “It will be interesting for you to see who will play over the weekend and who will not play from all of those who have been injured all over Europe.

“Personally, I would put £10 on 90 per cent playing.

“It shows you one thing – these international friendlies are not in the best position.”

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