Özil sale ‘incomprehensible’, says German coach

Cesc Fabregas also surprised by German’s move from Bernabeu to Arsenal

Mesut Özil during a German training session in Munich. Photograph:  Daniel Kopatsch/Bongarts/Getty Images

Mesut Özil during a German training session in Munich. Photograph: Daniel Kopatsch/Bongarts/Getty Images

Wed, Sep 4, 2013, 14:57

Germany coach Joachim Löw has criticised Real Madrid for selling Mesut Özil to Arsenal, although he feels the attacking midfield will benefit from the move.

Özil joined the Gunners on transfer deadline day, claiming he felt Arsène Wenger had more faith in him than his Madrid counterpart Carlo Ancelotti. His Germany team-mate Sami Khedira said he regretted his club’s decision to sell the 24-year-old, while Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said Özil would be the “last” player he’d sell.

Löw has echoed those sentiments.

“Many Real players like Sami Khedira or Cristiano Ronaldo are sad about the transfer,” he said. “For me, it’s incomprehensible that Real would sell one of their top scorers.”

While disagreeing with the move, which he would not have sanctioned had he been coach of the Merengues, Löw said he fully understood why Özil accepted a move to the Premier League. Löw also believes a change of scenery would probably benefit the midfielder.

“Mesut is a sensitive player and he needs the faith from the club and the coach,” said Löw. “It seems that was not longer 100 per cent there at Real whereas Arsenal and their coach Arsène Wenger pulled out all the stops to get him.

“He has a top coach there and, with Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker, he has two German colleagues. Arsenal are a strong team who play technically high-quality football.”

The transfer has not affected Özil in his preparation for Germany’s World Cup qualifier against Austria on Friday night, though, with Löw saying he “looks perfectly happy and satisfied. He is fully focused”.

Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, believes his old club have managed to prise away Real’s second-best player.

He told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: “I was really surprised by Özil’s departure. He seemed to me the second-best player at Madrid, after Cristiano (Ronaldo). He’ll be great for Arsenal.”

Fabregas was also the subject of transfer interest from the Premier League this summer, with champions Manchester United hoping to bring him back to England.

United saw two bids for Fabregas rebuffed by Barca, who always insisted they had no intention of selling the 26-year-old, while the midfielder sought to end the speculation last month when he declared he wanted to remain at the Nou Camp.

Touching back on that subject, Fabregas insists he could not have been tempted away from Barca, even if he had been offered the chance to double his wages or the promise of regular first-team football.

Fabregas has struggled to tie down a starting spot at the Catalan giants, but he said: “The tougher the challenge the better I like it and Barcelona was the biggest and most difficult, and I want to finish in a happy manner and if I can retire at Barca, then so much the better.

“The only thing in my head is triumphing at Barcelona. When I arrived at Barcelona I already knew there were other places where I could earn more or where I could have more minutes, but coming to Barca was my dream. It was my dream since I was small. I wouldn’t go, not even for double the money.”