Santi Cazorla says Liverpool have been the surprise success of the season so far with the Arsenal playmaker admitting the Merseysiders will be a serious challenger for the Premier League title.

The Reds finished in seventh place last season, missing out on European football all together and failing to mount a serious challenge for the top four.

However, after Brendan Rodgers added eight new faces to the squad over the course of the most recent transfer window, Liverpool are looking serious in their ambitions to secure a top four finish. They sit in second place in the Premier League table and are pushing close to overtaking leaders Arsenal.

And Cazorla insists the Reds they are definitely going to continue to challenge for top spot this season.

"Liverpool are surprise package of the championship and I think they're serious candidate because they've reinforced it well," he told Spanish paper El Pais. "They are compact and holds the advantage of playing a single competition.

"But look at the City, they lost to Sunderlandor Tottenham, who fell at home. The Premier League is not easy, unlike Spain. There is more equality."

Cazorla made the move to the Premier League from La Liga in 2012, signing on with Arsenal after a successful season at cash-strapped Malaga.

Many players heading from Spain to England have commented on the difference between the two leagues being that more teams are fighting for top spot in the Premier League, and this season would appear to be even more evenly-spread than in recent ones with the Manchester United and Manchester City struggling while Chelsea look far from convincing.

Having worked with City manager Manuel Pellegrini in Spain Cazorla gave an insight into his differences with Arsene Wenger, explaining: "Arsene is a reference. I can tell you that I learn every day from him.

"He is a different coach than I've had, but his philosophy is similar to Pellegrini, in terms of their idea that the team take control of the game through ball possession and dominating the game.

"English football is less tactical, rather more open in nature. Arsene has given me absolute freedom, although I play a little left in midfield, but he allows me to go to the center, change positions and overall makes me feel very happy."