Mesut Ozil thanked Arsenal for an “amazing trip” after his departure to Fenerbahce was confirmed. He said he had no grudges even though he hadn’t played for almost a year.
The 32-year-old, who said goodbye to his Arsenal team-mates before his flight to Turkey last Sunday, officially signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Fenerbahce and trained with his new team-mates on Sunday.
Ozil has received a registration fee of £ 4.5million and will earn around £ 60,000 a week from the club – a wage cut from his £ 350,000 weekly contract with Arsenal – although his wages are increased through sponsorships and endorsements.
Although Ozil has stopped playing for Arsenal since beating West Ham 1-0 in March 2020 and was no longer on the club’s Premier League roster, he used social media to say goodbye to his former side and only had Thank you.
“I would like to thank the club for this great journey over the past seven and a half years,” he said on Twitter in a long, heartfelt letter to Arsenal fans.
“The support I have received from the team and the fans during my time here has been really incredible and something I will always be grateful for,” he added to the club’s official website.
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“Together we won trophies for the first time in years and made memories that will last a lifetime. Arsenal fans will stay in my heart forever.
“I would like to thank Edu Gaspar for contributing to a professional and worthy solution over the past few days and I wish everyone at the club all the best in trying to keep Arsenal at the top, where we belong.” “”
Ozil wrote more emotionally on Instagram, saying: “I will always be grateful for the trust Arsene Wenger placed in me in September 2013. I grew up as an adult in north London, a place I will always call home that will i never forget.
“I find it difficult to put into words the love I have for this club and the fans. How could I possibly describe eight years of gratitude in one letter? I will be a Sagittarius for life – there is no doubt about that. “
Fenerbahce President Ali Koc urged fans to send goodwill text messages worth around £ 2 each to help fund the club.
Over 160,000 messages have been sent, making over £ 300,000 for the club. The campaign will continue until Ozil is officially revealed on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Koc, who urged fans to “break a record,” said, “Maybe 300,000, 500,000 or maybe even a million text messages will come together. This support will do us very well.”
After starting the first 10 games under Mikel Arteta following his appointment in December 2019, Ozil has not been seen since beating West Ham 1-0 before the soccer pandemic brought soccer to a standstill.
He was expelled from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads. Arteta and technical director Edu insisted that the decision was made for football reasons.
“As I said, the past few months have not been the easiest,” added Ozil. “Like every player, I want to play football for my team every minute. In life, however, things don’t always turn out the way we want or expect.”
“But it’s important to look for the positives in life, not the negatives. That’s why I try to live a life free of regrets and grudges. Being at Arsenal was more than just football, it was about community.”
Ozil was criticized in some areas for refusing to cut his salary over the summer due to no football being played and Arsenal trying to balance the books.
But boss Arteta said he would be remembered for having played in three of the four FA Cup finals Arsenal won while at the club.
“Mesut’s successes at Arsenal are undisputed,” said Arteta. “It has been a privilege to play by his side and to coach him recently.
“His creativity and vision resulted in many goals while wearing the Arsenal shirt. Mesut has been at the heart of many great moments for the club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins.
“These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce.”
Ozil leaves behind a contradicting Arsenal legacy
It started with a grin and a raised eyebrow from Arsene Wenger.
It was September 2013 and after beating Tottenham 1-0 at Emirates Stadium, the Frenchman was asked by Sky Sports’ Patrick Davison about Arsenal’s plans for the final days of the transfer window. “Maybe we have a good surprise for you,” he said.
Arsenal’s summer recruitment amounted to two free transfers at the time. One recruits Mathieu Flamini from AC Milan, the other Yaya Sanogo, a promising but injury-prone striker from Auxerre. The supporters were overwhelmed and excited.
They wanted more and 48 hours later they got it. Wenger’s “good surprise” came in the form of a sensational £ 42.5m deal for Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil. It was the third costliest signing in British football history and would have nearly tripled Arsenal’s record investment in the transfer market.
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