Mesut Ozil has officially confirmed his move to Fenerbahce, bringing to an end his topsy-turvy seven-and-a-half year stay at Arsenal.
The 32-year-old, who had not featured for Arsenal since March 7, joins the Turkish club on a free transfer after his £350,000-a-week Gunners contract was terminated.
While the news has not yet been officially confirmed by either club, Ozil has now officially spoken out about the move, admitting he is ‘very excited’ in an interview with Turkish television channel NTV, also confirming that he will arrive in Istanbul on Monday morning.
‘I am a Fenerbahce fan. That is why I am very happy to be coming to Turkey with Fenerbahce,’ Ozil said. ‘I’m very excited. God gave me the chance to wear this jersey as a Fenerbahce fan. God willing, I will carry it with honour and do everything I can for the team,’ he added.
‘Of course, I’m missing a few matches. I haven’t played in a match in a while, but I am physically fit, I have no issues,’ he said, adding he had been training with the first team at Arsenal during his time off the pitch.
It brings to an end Ozil’s long and controversial spell in north London, where he won three FA Cups and one Community Shield following his arrival in a then club-record £42.5million deal from Real Madrid under Arsene Wenger.
The 2014 World Cup winner with Germany has not featured competitively for the Gunners in more than 10 months, with his last appearance coming in March’s 1-0 win against West Ham when he assisted Alexandre Lacazette.
Ozil leaves Arsenal having played 254 matches for the club, scoring 44 goals and recording 77 assists in more than seven years.
He was named the club’s Player of the Season in 2015-16, when they finished second in the Premier League to Leicester City.
Ozil was also named the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month on three separate occasions in 2015.
The playmaker was involved in the 2014 FA Cup final victory against Hull City, which ended Arsenal’s nine-year trophy drought, as well as when they defended their Cup crown against Villa a year later.
He also played a part in the Gunners’ Cup triumph over Chelsea in 2017, but came up short against the same opponents in the Europa League final two years later.
Ozil also played 90 minutes in the 2018 EFL Cup final loss to Manchester City.
However, since signing a new £350,000 deal in January 2018, making him the highest-paid player at the club, he struggled to hit top form once Arsene Wenger left the club that summer.
He had a somewhat up-and-down relationship with Unai Emery – yet seemed rejuvenated in the first two months of Mikel Arteta’s reign at the Emirates.
But he has not played post-lockdown – and has only been involved in two matchday squads, both back in June – and has recently taken to social media to display his affection for Arsenal alongside his disappointment at not being involved.
He was not selected in either the Premier League or the Europa League squads this season yet has continued to train with the first team.
The Athletic claim Ozil was set to earn around £7million at the Emirates Stadium between now and the end of the current campaign, but an early termination was agreed.
Ozil has also recently spoken of his affection for Fenerbahce during a Twitter &Q.A
When asked by another Twitter followers which was his favourite district in the city, Ozil replied ‘Kadikoy’, which is where the club’s stadium is located.