German star Mesut Ozil has had a season to forget at Arsenal so far, after the euphoria of winning the World Cup with Germany. The midfield maestro has struggled to find his rhythm at the club and turned in a series of anonymous performances as a left winger before suffering a knee injury that has seen him sidelined until the New Year.
As a result of this, coupled with a series of poor performances by Arsenal, rumours emerged that the player was considering leaving the club in January. Spanish paper Marca went a step further and claimed that the German star missed his time with Real Madrid and wished he was back at the Spanish capital every day. Not only that, they also claimed that the former Real Madrid man had been forced to make the transfer to Arsenal by his father.
But in an interview with Esquire magazine, Mesut Ozil has comprehensively squashed those rumours. He said that he is happy to be at Arsenal, he is enjoying playing for the Gunners and that he sees his future here.
He (Wenger) knows what he wants and I know he can bring me a step forward; he trusts me in that way and I trust him: completely.
For now, I am not making any plans for after my career. I am just really happy to be here.
I have been in this business so long now, I have been a professional since I was 16, 17. I don’t care what the press thinks about me as football changes from day to day. You can play well one day and badly the next. I’m used to it.
The player’s dedication to the club and especially to manager Arsene Wenger is heartening to see, and our key players rallying around the manager and raising morale is a massive boost for the team as a whole, in what has been a patchy and difficult season so far. Ozil may not be available for another few weeks, but even his presence in the dressing room will make a difference.
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Ozil remains one of the Gunners’ key players, and when he returns it will be interesting to see if Wenger chooses to deploy him in his preferred No. 10 role. His combination with Alexis Sanchez is something that Gunners fans are looking forward to seeing, and that combination has the potential to win us games all by itself. Amid the criticism, it’s easy to forget the star distributor hasn’t played with a world-class holding midfielder protecting him, but that looks unlikely to change in the near future, unfortunately.