Arsenal smashed their club record when they signed German magician Mesut Ozil in 2013.
The Gunners were in desperate need of a little something six years ago. In typical Arsenal fashion, they had whimpered away from Manchester United and allowed their only world-class talent to make his way up north to reinforce Sir Alex Ferguson and Old Trafford cronies – leaving behind the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Mathieu Flamini to pick up the pieces.
Of course, there were some quality players in the side, only a fool would deny that, but what is the point in having all that talent if you do not have a key to unlock it?
Mesut Ozil was that key.
The Emirates has not exactly represented a beacon of frivolous spending in recent years, with their transfer market stinginess a well-documented fact (as per The Guardian). But here they were, splashing the cash on German star Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid – a notoriously expensive stall to buy from. After years of moaning about how low funding had stifled his chances of success, Arsene Wenger had his wish fulfilled to the tune of £42.4million – smashing the previous record by £27.4million (as per BBC Sport).
Excited about his new toy, he said: “He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player.”
In all fairness, Mesut Ozil has been everything you would expect in a typical Arsenal player. Technically gifted, skilful, extremely graceful on the ball and, of course, supremely talented at creating opportunities. For all his laziness and other such frustrating characteristics, his ability to carve out opportunities from some of the most impossible looking situations is simply something you cannot take away from him. You do not boast 52 Premier League assists in 163 games for no reason. The playmaker is just wired in a completely different way to us mere mortals.
Ozil may have fallen a little out-of-favour this season under new boss Unai Emery, but that does not mean he is any less talented. This is the man who helped Germany win the World Cup, after all; who earned a spot in the Real Madrid line-up and guided Arsenal to FA Cup dominance.
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