In his first interview as an Arsenal player, Germany international Mesut Ozil has revealed the Gunners' playing style was a major reason behind his move to North London.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Ozil said he spoke regularly with new manager Arsene Wenger in the buildup to his transfer and was won over by the vision of the Frenchman—whom he describes as a "world-class manager."
The official club website provides Ozil's quotes:
I chose Arsenal because they are one of the top clubs in England. The coach is a world-class manager - he’s demonstrated that for years. A lot of players have developed under his guidance in the past and that’s why I decided to join Arsenal.
I want to improve myself further and I’m looking forward to the style of play. Arsenal are well known for the strength of their technical game and their desire to play attacking football. I think I will fit perfectly into that. That’s why I chose to sign for the club.
Arsenal are one of the technically strongest teams in the world. The manager always wants to play attractive and attacking football. I think I fit into that because I enjoy playing quickly—that ’one-touch football’. I’m happy to be part of the club and I hope I can help the team.
That the notoriously thrifty Wenger chose to spend a reported £42.4 million, per BBC Sport, to secure his signature says much of his importance to Arsenal's vision and vindicates the Frenchman's belief that they can still attract top stars, per the Daily Mail.
Having been out of genuine contention for the Premier League title for some time, doubts had emerged over the club's attractiveness to the game's elite players—particularly after missing out on Argentina star Gonzalo Higuain earlier this summer, per ESPN.
However, as Ozil's signing shows, they are still a major power when prepared to stray from their existing wage structure, per the Guardian.
If the club continue to offer competitive wages, there is no reason why they cannot attract more players of Ozil's standing over the coming years.
As the German points out, there are many factors in the club's favour. They offer Champions League football, they have a respected manager who is stable in his job and, above all, they try to play attractive football.
For players like Ozil who play a creative role between the midfield and forward lines, the knowledge he will be well-suited to his new club's system is important. The world's leading players, naturally, will only want to play for sides where their technical abilities will be allowed to shine through.
While attributing the transfer to the work of Wenger in persuading Ozil, Geman national team manager Joachim Low also brought up the English side's commitment to playing good football as a major reason for the move.
BBC Sport provides Low's quotes:
Mesut is a sensitive player and he needs the faith from the club and the coach. It seems that was no longer 100% there at Real whereas Arsenal and their coach Arsene Wenger pulled out all the stops to get him.
He has a top coach there and, with Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker, he has two German colleagues. Arsenal are a strong team who play technically high-quality football.
The combination of Wenger's belief in his players and Arsenal's desire to play a good style of football makes the club an attractive prospect, especially if they are offering competitive wages.
Wenger now deserves credit for having pulled off a major coup in the signing of Ozil, having seen his side's status as a "big club" questioned by some in the media.
Arsenal have stuck to their principles and, with a world-class playmaker in their ranks, will hope to move forward over the next couple of years to return to challenging for trophies.
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