Mesut Ozil has described how Arsene Wenger sold Arsenal to him.
Gunners coach Wenger has often been criticised for not spending big on his playing personnel, especially as the club have not added to their honours list since the 2005 FA Cup final win over Manchester United in Cardiff. And with deadline day ticking by, it looked as though it was going to be a similar story this time round.
Only Yaya Sanogo and former employee Mathieu Flamini had been added this summer, both on free transfers, until news broke that the Londoners were in serious contention to sign Ozil. A German international with 47 caps, the midfielder is well regarded as a genuine world-class talent, but after luring Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in a world record deal worth around £85million, Real Madrid were prepared to sell.
The next thing you knew the former Werder Bremen ace, still only 24-years-old, was undergoing a medical in Munich, and in the evening it was confirmed a £42.5million deal had been completed. This smashes the previous club transfer record, and judging from Ozil’s words, it is clear that Wenger remains hugely ambitious for the future of Arsenal.
“I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal,” said Ozil, who has also played for Schalke. “It will be great for my own personal development as a player and I am particularly looking forward to working with Arsene Wenger. From our negotiations, it is clear the club has huge ambition and I look forward to being part of an exciting future.”
Like many of Wenger’s squad, Ozil is currently away on international duty. When he returns he could make his debut upon the resumption of the Premier League on 14 September, when the Gunners travel to the Stadium of Light to take on struggling Sunderland. The Emirates Stadium faithful will have to wait until the following weekend for the first glimpse of their new hero, when Stoke City visit on Sunday afternoon.
Another new arrival on deadline day was Emiliano Viviano, the Italian international goalkeeper who has six caps for his country. The 27-year-old arrives on a season-long loan deal from Fiorentina, and will provide competition for Wojciech Szczesny.