Mesut Ozil has thanked Arsenal for the “amazing journey” they enjoyed together after his departure to Fenerbahce was confirmed.
Ozil said goodbye to his Arsenal team-mates a week ago and his move to Turkey has now been wrapped up. It ends his seven-and-a-half-year stay at the Emirates which included 254 appearances in all competitions.
He bagged 44 goals but it was his creativity that Gunners fans admired the most. Pinpoint passes and deft flicks set up scores of chances for his team-mates after arriving from Real Madrid in 2013.
There were always question marks over his work rate off the ball while his attitude came under scrutiny. But at his best, the former Germany midfielder was the first name on the team sheet.
Having been frozen out of the Emirates picture this term, he finally got his desired move to Turkey. And despite the cloud hanging over his final months in north London, he paid tribute to Arsenal.
“I’d like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven and a half years,” he said. “The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.
“Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime. The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart.”
And the former Werder Bremen schemer made special mention of the club’s technical director.
“I’d like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days,” he added. “And I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong.”
Writing on Instagram, Ozil was more emotional, saying: “I will always be grateful for the trust placed in me by Arsene Wenger in September 2013. I’ve grown up as an adult in North London, a place I’ll always call home. I’ll never forget that.
“It’s difficult for me to put into words the love I feel for this club and the fans. How could I possibly describe eight years of gratitude in a single letter? I will be a Gunner for life – no doubt about that.”
Arteta’s strange tribute
Gunners chief Mikel Arteta effectively ended Ozil’s Arsenal career by omitting him from all squads for 2020-2021. It was clear that he had no future with the Spaniard in charge of first-team affairs.
But far from rejoice at the news of his departure, the former Arsenal player paid his own tribute.
“Mesut’s quality will be missed,” he said. “He’s a very special player who has a big history in this football club and if he ends up doing the deal when it happens I will give my clear opinion on that.”
Ozil has reportedly taken a huge pay cut to get the deal over the line.
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