No football fan in England will ever forget the scenes outside the Emirates on the transfer deadline day of the 2013 summer transfer window.
Dozens of Arsenal supporters surrounded Sky Sports reporter Geraint Hughes as he announced the Gunners had signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club-record fee.
Given his reputation at the time as the best No.10 in the world, it was to no surprise that Gooners across the country were jubilant.
And, to put a cherry on top, Ozil’s transfer to Arsenal materialised due to their north London rivals Tottenham deciding to let their star man Gareth Bale move to Real Madrid.
Having been reluctant to spend heavily in the past — largely due to the financial costs of building the Emirates — manager Arsene Wenger finally forked out by spending £42m (via BBC Sport) on Ozil in a move that the Frenchman had hoped would help springboard Arsenal to their first Premier League title since 2004.
In fact, the move was so ambitious that even a certain Cristiano Ronaldo was angry about it, such was Ozil’s standing in the Spanish capital.
Unfortunately for Wenger and the Arsenal faithful, though, things did not pan out that way and Ozil has since divided opinion among his fanbase and footballing neutrals.
While Ozil is often praised for his technical ability and the way he can split open a defence with a single pass, he also receives an equal amount of criticism for his displays when Arsenal are not in control or are up against strong opposition.
The 29-year-old’s work rate, in particular, is something that repeatedly comes into question.
Nevertheless, Ozil has still made a significant impact at the Emirates since arriving back in 2013, helping Arsenal win three FA Cups after the club’s very long trophy drought — or at least long by their standards.
For many Arsenal supporters, though, recent FA Cup triumphs have not been enough. Back in 2014, Wenger had promised that the club would win the Premier League within four years (via the Telegraph) with Ozil expected to be central of any title win given his ability and the money he was brought in for.
The signing of Ozil alone, however, was never going to be enough for Arsenal to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the title.
In recent seasons, bar the one in which Leicester City miraculously won the Premier League in, Arsenal’s squad has not been good enough compared to the champions of that year.
That does not make Ozil’s signing any less relevant, though. His arrival was a display of both the financial power and pull Arsenal still had and, simply put, was a watershed moment for the club.
The following summer, Arsenal went out and bought Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona before splashing out the cash on the more recent big-money additions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, further showing what the club are capable of accomplishing in the transfer market.
The recruitment of the above players has yet to bear fruit for the club in its pursuit of Premier League and European glory. However, Arsenal have shown they have the financial means to build a competitive team with the signings of Ozil and co.