Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed Mesut Ozil to thrive once he starts playing again for new club Fenerbahce, labelling it the ‘biggest transfer’ of the January window.
Ozil leaves Arsenal seven-and-a-half years after becoming the club’s record signing in a £42.5m transfer from Real Madrid. At times one of the best attacking players in the Premier League, the 2014 World Cup winner was completely frozen out in the closing stages of last season.
Ozil, now 32, had long been expected to move to Turkey before he retires and Wenger has expressed his belief that the move will give the player the fresh start and platform he needs.
“I’m sure that he’s frustrated at not having played. His hunger must be absolutely [enormous] to play football again. Mesut is a guy who needs a warm environment and I believe he will find that more than anywhere else in Turkey,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS.
“I met his father when I signed him and you could see there is a strong attachment to Turkey and a big interest in the Turkish league. I could always feel a strong Turkish link.”
The ex-Gunners boss knows Ozil better than most, having been the one to take him to Arsenal in 2013 and working closely with him for five seasons.
“Fenerbahce is a big club. There is a huge fan base there and they must be absolutely excited to have a player like Mesut Ozil playing for their club,” Wenger added.
The Frenchman, who has taken on a development role at FIFA since leaving management, went on to describe Ozil as a ‘genius’, praising his passing and likening him to the conductor of an orchestra.
“If the moment is right around him, the timing of the pass will be perfect and the quality of the pass will be perfect. He certainly will be the biggest transfer of the January window because the world of football is a bit quiet,” Wenger explained.