Cazorla praises Wilshere ahead of derby clash

Ahead of Sunday's crucial north London derby against Tottenham, Arsenal's Santi Cazorla has hailed midfield colleague Jack Wilshere.

Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Arsenal

By FOX Sports staff

The Gunners head into this weekend's clash at White Hart Lane fifth in the Barclays Premier League, four points behind their third-placed rivals and desperately needing a win to keep alive their hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification.

In what is shaping up to be one of their worst seasons under manager Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have been eliminated from both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup by lower division opposition in Blackburn and Bradford respectively, while they also appear to be on their way out of this year's Champions League as they currently trail Bayern Munich 3-1 after the first leg of their Round of 16 clash.

And ahead of a clash that could potentially make or break Arsenal's campaign, Cazorla has taken the time out to praise Wilshere, who he believes has a "spectacular future" ahead of him.

"He adds something extra and I'm gradually getting to know his style of play better," the ex-Malaga man told Arsenal Player. "His way of playing complements my own; in fact, we play in similar positions and that makes it easier for us to establish a greater understanding every day.

"As I've said, he adds that little bit more that we need in many of our games. His return from injury was a great plus for the club and we all hope he can maintain the level he's at because he's very good.

"I didn't know much about him when I came to the club because he hasn't been around for very long. He surprised me because he is such a complete footballer.

"He's young and has a spectacular future ahead of him and he's also got a lot of room to mature and develop. I have no doubt that he's going to be even more important here in the future."

The duo, along with Mikel Arteta, will be expected to run the Arsenal engine room on Sunday and Cazorla admits it will be a derby of greater significance, due to the rivals' respective standing on the table.

"It's very important, not just because it is a great rivalry or that it's Tottenham vs Arsenal, but the fact that they're a side with great players who are fighting with us for a top-four spot," he added.

"To beat them and get into the top four and the Champions League, which is our aim for the season, is essential. We know how important it is and I hope we can rise to the challenge.

"Like everyone else, I'm really looking forward to the match against Tottenham and I hope we can achieve our goal of fighting for a Champions League spot. It's going to be a really difficult game but a great match to watch."

Cazorla joined Arsenal at the start of this season and has already netted 11 goals in 27 league appearances.

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