Arsenal Defender Welcomes Compatriot
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has expressed his delight at Mesut Ozil’s arrival at the club, after the Real Madrid midfielder joined the Gunners on transfer deadline day for a club record £42.5 million.
Arsene Wenger will be happy that the deal went through, and it was a case of smart transfer business by the French manager as it turned out. Wenger is known to be a shrewd player in the transfer market, and the strategy used by Wenger to sign Ozil proved just that. This saga involved four clubs – AS Roma, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Real Madrid. As has been publicized, Roma have been in financial difficulty over the last few seasons, and there was always pressure for them to sell their best players. At the time, Roma’s striking department included Erik Lamela, who was a Spurs target, but Andre Villas-Boas’ side could not get a deal without a replacement for Roma. Wenger then sold out-of-form Gervinho to Roma, providing them with a striking option and room to sell Lamela. The Argentine was sold to Spurs shortly after for a £30 million deal, increasing pressure on Spurs to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. Once that deal went through for a fee of £85 million, the pressure turned on Madrid to balance their books, and forced them to sell Ozil for a fee of £42.4 million, covering nearly half the cost of Bale’s acquisition. As Bale was presented to the fans and press on deadline day, fresh reports emerged over Arsenal’s interest in Ozil, and the transfer was completed in the final minutes of the window.
This deal could strain relations between Spurs and Madrid, with the former upset over Madrid’s decision to sell to one of Spurs’ biggest rivals in the Barclays Premier League. Ozil’s arrival at the club sees him join his international team mate Mertesacker, who has slowly emerged as a regular on Wenger’s team sheet.
According to ESPN, Mertesacker, who was also Ozil’s team mate at Werder Bremen, believes Wenger’s capabilities will allow him to bring the best out of the new signing.
Mertesacker said, “We spent two years together at Werder Bremen so I think that Arsene Wenger will get the best out of him.”
“I think he will fit in. He suits us and we’re really looking forward to playing with him and to be his team mate”