ARSENAL manager Unai Emery spoke with Santi Cazorla in the summer to discuss what needed changing at the club.
The Spanish boss was looking for advice from his compatriot about the ongoings at the Emirates.
Emery has been tasked with bringing new life to Arsenal after 22 years with Arsene Wenger in charge.
Cazorla was one of Arsenal’s star performers and a fan-favourite from recent years, although his past three seasons were hugely interrupted by injury.
During his six years at the club, though, the 33-year-old learned a lot about the culture of the Gunners.
And Emery was keen to tap into that after the player’s contract expired.
Cazorla has since rejoined Villarreal and is back in action in La Liga.
The playmaker was happy to offer Emery advice when called upon in Spain, but he has kept some of their chat close to his chest.
“I didn’t know him but in the summer [Emery] called me to find out about the team and the club, for a bit more info,” Cazorla told journalist Sid Lowe.
“I said it would be hard to change some of them”
“It’s normal to speak to someone who has been inside for their view. I told him what I thought: the things that he had to change and the things he had to reinforce.
“I can’t say [what they were]. That’s a secret.
“But I was clear, direct: I said that it was an incredible club, that had everything it needed to win, but that there were things that had to change.
“I said it would be hard to change some of them.
“Arsene was there for 23 years and changing 23 years overnight … it needs time.
“It’s an opportunity for [Emery] to take a club like Arsenal and try to make them champions which is what I want and what all Gunners want. I think they have chosen well.”
Emery has enjoyed some ups and downs so far in north London, having begun with two defeats to rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.
However, back-to-back victories against West Ham and Cardiff followed.
The ex-Sevilla and PSG manager has stamped his authority on the squad and at Cobham training ground.
And after the international break, he will hope to see Arsenal further adapting to his style when they go to Newcastle on Saturday (3pm).