Ozil reveals long phone chat with Arsene Wenger convinced him to sign for Arsenal
Germany midfielder says he is desperate to help club end an eight-year tropheyless run
Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil at a training session in Munich last week. Photograph: Reuters/Michael Dalder
Mesut Ozil has revealed that a long telephone conversation with Arsene Wenger convinced him to sign for Arsenal and has hit out at the lack of “trust and respect” at Real Madrid.
The Germany midfielder, who joined Arsenal for €50 million on deadline day, was persuaded by Wenger, who is fluent in German, that a move to England was the right one despite the player initially wanting to stay at Real.
“Somehow this telephone call just flicked a switch in me,” Ozil told Die Welt. “I thought: ‘what he is telling me is what I have missed at Real: transparency, trust, respect. He told me exactly how he sees me [as a player], how he wants to use me, what he expects from me and what he hopes I will contribute.”
The 24-year-old, who has won 48 caps for Germany since making his debut in 2009, reiterated that he is desperate to help Arsenal end a trophyless run that stretches eight years.
“I want to win titles and will do everything in order to do that. That is my mentality.”
Asked whether a tough Champions League draw, in which Arsenal were placed with Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Marseille, is discouraging, Ozil said: “We will do everything to get as far as possible in all the competitions. I learned that at Real. I don’t go into any competitions saying: ‘The aim us to reach the semi-finals or the final.’ When I play I want to win.” He added: “The transfer fee has nothing to do with me. I would have joined Arsenal on a free.”
Ozil, who played in Germany’s 3-0 win against Austria on Friday, is set to face the Faroe Islands tomorrow.
Several Real players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, have expressed dismay at Ozil’s exit and the midfielder’s international coach, Joachim Low, said he found the transfer “incomprehensible”.
“Several other [Real] players have also been in touch or spoken about it publicly,” Ozil said.
The former Schalke and Werder Bremen midfielder, who says he expects German colleagues Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski to help him settle at Arsenal, is set make his Premier League debut against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.