Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira says the signing of his former club colleague and international teammate Mesut Ozil makes Arsenal the strongest side in England.
Ozil, 24, joined Arsenal for £42.4 million on transfer deadline day in August, becoming the most expensive player in the Gunners' history in the process.
While admitting there was disappointment in the Real Madrid camp at his exit, the Mirror's Matt Law quotes Khedira as saying his countryman can help Arsenal to the league title:
Arsenal had a strong team anyway, but Mesut makes them the best team in England. I am sure he can be the player that makes things happen for them and win them the championship. Mesut is a genius on the field, there is no other way to describe him.
Of course, there was some disappointment among the players at Madrid because he is the best in his position in the world. But I understand his decision as a player and also as my friend.
He is already playing amazing football for Arsenal and he hasn’t even got used to the Premier League yet.
Ozil has made an immediate impact at Arsenal since his arrival, helping the club to three wins and a draw in the Premier League, as well as two consecutive Champions League successes. In the process, he has already notched up a goal and four assists.
The Mirror's Neil McLeman reported at the time of the transfer that Cristiano Ronaldo was one of several Real players unhappy with the decision to sell Ozil. The supporters, also, had used the unveiling of Gareth Bale to campaign for Ozil to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu, per Metro's Gavin Brown.
Real's loss has most definitely been Arsenal's gain, though, with the German adapting seamlessly to play in the North London side's midfield unit longside Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott.
Following Ozil's second appearance in the Champions League for his new employers, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described the playmaker's display as "amazing." Per the Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson, the French coach said of Ozil:
First half absolutely amazing, fantastic. The collective, individual skill, final ball and finishing. It was everything that you dream to see when you sit in the stands watching football. It was very enjoyable.
He’s like the team. He had an outstanding first half where you had all that you want to see from a great player. Just sit there and enjoy it. We are just lucky to have got him. I believe he enjoys playing football with his partners. He’s integrated quickly with the team mentality.
After Arsenal's bright start to the season, hopes are high at Emirates Stadium that the club can this season end a run of eight years with no silverware, with Ozil central to those plans.
Khedira is currently in the final two years of his own contract and Law's article in the Mirror suggests that the midfielder could be a January target for the London club:
Khedira will have 18 months remaining on his contract in the January window and the opportunity to reunite Ozil with his old colleague has not been lost on the Arsenal hierarchy.
With a growing German element to the Arsenal squad in Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem all in the first-team setup, it is a possibility that does not seem outlandish.
Arsenal, though, believe their current group are capable of achieving success this season, and Khedira would seem to agree.
The Gunners now have a crucial phase of their season ahead, with fixtures against Borussia Dortmund (twice), Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all in the coming weeks across three competitions.
Wenger's side have done well in their recent fixtures, including impressive victories over Napoli and Tottenham. However, questions remain over their squad depth, particularly up front, where Olivier Giroud only has Nicklas Bendtner for cover.
The forthcoming series of fixtures will strongly indicate whether they have the necessary defensive quality and cutting edge to stay on top.
If Wenger can reach the Nov. 23 clash against Southampton without suffering too much damage, he will feel he has a squad capable of a genuine title challenge.