New Arsenal signing expects to blossom under Wenger

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Arsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil believes he can reach new heights under Arsene Wenger’s guidance following his deadline day move from Real Madrid.

Wenger forked out a fee in the region of £43m to bring the German star to north London on Monday – almost trebling the Gunners’ previous record outlay of £15m for Andrey Arshavin.

Having sensed that he no longer figured in the plans of Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, Ozil admitted that Wenger’s confidence in him was a key factor in his decision to move to Emirates Stadium.

“I realised that I did not have the faith from the coach or the bosses,” Ozil told the German FA website, “I am a player who needs this faith and that is what I have felt from Arsenal, which is why I have joined.

“I am really looking forward to it because I have the faith of the coach. I had spoken to him at length, he explained his plans and that he has faith in me.

“I am looking forward to the new challenge – I have already heard that they [Arsenal] have super fans, the city is great and the team is fantastic.

“Wenger gives me the faith and I am sure the new coach is going to develop me further.”

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The 24-year-old playmaker, who is currently away on international duty, began his career with Schalke and then played for Werder Bremen before his switch to the Bernabeu in 2010.

Ozil is expected to make his debut for the Gunners at Sunderland a week on Saturday and new team-mate Theo Walcott has welcomed the midfielder’s arrival.

“It is very exciting,” said Walcott. “I played against him for the under-21s, he showed his qualities then and he has shown them for many years for club and country.

“He is a great addition and I am looking forward to playing with him. I think it definitely shows a statement that we are ready to step up and Ozil is going to be fantastic for me personally.

“With the amount of the assists he has got, it’s a dream for me, so I am very excited to see him in the flesh and play with him.”

The Gunners also added another player to their squad ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline, signing Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on loan.

With Lukas Podolski sidelined for several weeks by a hamstring injury, Wenger had been keen to increase his options up front and enquired about a loan move for Chelsea’s Demba Ba.

However, the approach was turned down – and that also meant that out-of-favour forward Nicklas Bendtner remains at the Emirates after the Gunners decided they could not afford to let him move to Crystal Palace.