Mesut Özil ‘looking forward to working with Arsene Wenger’
Arsenal ‘proud’ to have signed ‘great player, with proven quality’
Germany’s Mesut Özil has joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for €50m. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Arsenal’s new record signing Mesut Özil says that the opportunity to work with Arsene Wenger was one of the main reasons why he joined the Gunners.
The 24-year-old German quit Real Madrid for the Emirates on Monday, after the north London club paid a reported €50 million for his services.
Wenger had originally wanted to sign Özil following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, although the midfielder chose Real over both Arsenal and Manchester United on that occasion. But the Frenchman finally got his man for a record-breaking fee and Özil admits he is delighted to “develop his talents” under Wenger.
He said: “It will be great for my own personal development as a player and I am particularly looking forward to working with Arsene Wenger. I am thrilled to be joining a club of the stature of Arsenal and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League.
“It is clear the club has huge ambition and I look forward to being part of an exciting future.”
Wenger, himself, added: “We are extremely pleased to have signed Mesut Özil. He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time, as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player.
“I have said throughout the summer that we have been working hard to bring in top quality players. This has involved many, many people across the club and I have always had the full support of the club in making decisions on the football side. Mesut is a top quality footballer who will be a fantastic addition to our talented squad. We are all looking forward to him joining up with us after his international matches with Germany and working with us as an Arsenal player.”
The Gunners had been criticised in the past for not spending heavily in the transfer market but have now splashed out on a player with 47 international caps.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “This is an exciting day for all of us. We have signed a world-class player who is one of Europe’s brightest young talents. Mr Kroenke, our controlling owner, has always fully supported Arsene and the club in making significant investments to strengthen our squad and to bring in talented players, who fit our style and ambitions.
“Like all of us, Mr Kroenke wants to see Arsenal winning titles and trophies and he has absolute faith and belief in our manager to achieve that. We will continue to work towards that goal and look forward to an exciting season.”