(Reuters) – Mesut Ozil’s arrival at Arsenal two years ago was a massive lift for the club, midfielder Jack Wilshere has said, adding it was “special” to have the German playmaker as a team mate.
Ozil’s move from Real Madrid, reportedly in the region of 42.4 million pounds ($63.31 million), smashed Arsenal’s previous record purchase and represented a rare big-money signing from manager Arsene Wenger.
Wilshere said he could scarcely believe that the club had pulled off such a major coup and since the World Cup winner’s arrival, the Gunners have won back-to-back FA Cups, breaking a nine-year trophy drought in the process.
After a shaky start to his Gunners career, Ozil has spearheaded Arsenal’s Premier League title charge this campaign and recently broke a league record by claiming assists in seven consecutive matches.
“I think we knew what sort of player Mesut was. His history as a player and the clubs he has played for… to bring him in to play with us was massive,” Wilshere told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
“I remember watching (the TV on) transfer deadline day and seeing that Arsenal were interested in Mesut Ozil, and you almost didn’t believe it.
“When he arrived, the players were buzzing and the fans were buzzing and I think that gave us all a massive lift.
“I remember watching him a few times and thinking that this player really understands football. You can tell he really understands football and to play alongside him is something special.”
Arsenal, second in the standings, will hope to open a four-point gap between themselves and third-placed Manchester City when they host the Sky Blues in the league on Monday.
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(Writing by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)