Belfast Telegraph

Ozil wants immediate impact

New Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is relishing the challenge of throwing himself straight into the rough and tumble of the Barclays Premier League - starting at Sunderland on Saturday.

The German playmaker's departure from Real Madrid in a £43million deal on transfer deadline day was greeted by disbelief from his former team-mates at the Bernabeu.

However, Madrid's loss is Arsenal's gain as manager Arsene Wenger finally landed the marquee signing he desired to bolster a long overdue sustained assault on the title.

With Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky suffering a thigh injury on international duty, Ozil could be thrown straight into the starting XI at the Stadium on Light.

The German maintains he is ready to meet the challenge head on.

"I look forward to playing in this league," he said.

"Of course it is very physical here, but it is a man is sport and I am really glad to play in the best league in the world.

"I want to prove myself in England, therefore I look forward to playing here.

"I also played in the Bundesliga and Spain and always proved myself. I know that I will prove myself here as well."

Ozil maintains it was the confidence of Wenger which proved vital in his decision to leave Madrid, when it became clear he no longer was central to the plans of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti following the world-record signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.

Reports in Spain have questioned Ozil's off-field behaviour.

However, the 24-year-old defended himself and insisted he would not let any unsubstantiated speculation affect his fresh start in London.

"I don't want to say anything bad about Madrid because I had three wonderful years there. I have great friends there. We achieved a lot with the club and (won) trophies. That is why I don't want to talk a lot about it," Ozil said as he was unveiled to the press at Arsenal's Hertfordshire training base on Thursday.

"People who know me know how professional I am and I think [in] the past years, you can see how many games I played - 159 games.

"If you are not professional in your life, then I don't think you can play that many games.

"People know how professional I am and this is what counts. All the rumours, I don't care about them.

"I have a new task here. I am just looking ahead.

"I am in London now. We have big goals here and we will work very hard to reach these goals."

Wenger believes Ozil's arrival can help England midfielder Jack Wilshere thrive in a deeper role at the heart of the Gunners side.

"In midfield, Jack Wilshere is more comfortable in deeper positions and Ozil more in a higher position, that is why I don't think they conflict," said Wenger, who expects both Wilshere and Theo Walcott, on the receiving end of a nasty kick during the World Cup qualifier in Ukraine, to be available this weekend.

"I didn't always think that, but looking at Jack over the years now, he likes to come deep to take the ball and make a difference, and then give and go again.

"Ozil, though, is more behind the striker, higher up on the field."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph