Mesut Özil believes Arsenal can win Premier League
Former Real Madrid player defends himself from accusations of unprofessionalism
Mesut Özil of Germany says his new club Arsenal can win the league. Photograph: Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images
The German playmaker’s €50 million move on transfer deadline day was met with disbelief from several former team-mates at the Bernabeu.
Özil maintains it was the confidence of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger which proved vital in his decision to leave Madrid, when it became clear he no longer was central to the plans of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti following the world-record signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.
Reports in Spain have questioned Özil’s off-field behaviour. However, the 24-year-old has defended himself and insisted he would not let any unsubstantiated speculation affect his fresh start in London.
“I don’t want to say anything bad about Madrid because I had three wonderful years there. I have great friends there. We achieved a lot with the club and (won) trophies. That is why I don’t want to talk a lot about it,” Özil told a press conference. “People who know me know how professional I am and I think (in) the past years, you can see how many games I played - 159 games.
“If you are not professional in your life, then I don’t think you can play that many games. People know how professional I am and this is what counts. All the rumours, I don’t care about them. I have a new task here. I am just looking ahead.
“I am in London now. We have big goals here and we will work very hard to reach these goals.”
Özil added: “You can see by the reaction of the fans and the players that they didn’t understand the move, but this is football. You always have to look ahead and I have made the next step. My time there (Real Madrid) was great, but that topic is over.
“I will have wonderful years here (at Arsenal), hopefully I will win many trophies and stay healthy and this what I look forward to.”
Özil, who was part of the Germany Under-21 side which beat England 4-0 in the final of the 2009 European Championships, is in no doubt he has signed for a club and manager capable of taking his game to another level.
“I am in the strongest league in the world and have to prove myself here to continue developing here. This is why I am at the right club,” he said. “I cannot promise to win trophies, but I can promise that as a team we will give our all to win trophies.”