Mesut Ozil has finally left Arsenal, completing a move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce on Sunday afternoon.
The 32-year-old has not been part of Mikel Arteta’s plans this season, and has not featured at all for the Gunners, having been left out of the official registered list of players in all competitions.
This decision was a strong indication that Ozil’s time in north London had come to an end, and six months later, that has now finally proven to be the case. The German star’s departure from the Emirates stadium was confirmed on Sunday, as his move to Turkish outfit Fenerbahce was officially announced.
In a farewell statement published on Arsenal’s official website, Ozil said: “I’d like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years. The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.
“Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime. The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart. I’d like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “Mesut’s achievements at Arsenal are undisputed. It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him.
“His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt. Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this 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.”
Technical director Edu added: “We thank Mesut for his huge contribution to Arsenal. He has made more than 250 appearances, played in three Emirates FA Cup final wins and has given the fans and everyone at the club many wonderful moments on the pitch since he joined us in 2013.
“We would like to thank Mesut and his team for their professionalism during our recent negotiations. I know everyone associated with Arsenal will join me in wishing Mesut and his family the best of health, success and happiness in the next chapter of his career.”
The Turkish giants confirmed the deal with a simple statement, writing: “An agreement has been reached with Arsenal Football Club for the transfer of professional footballer Mesut Özil to our club.”
The attacking midfielder leaves the Gunners under a cloud of controversy, and his career at the Emirates stadium will certainly split opinions among supporters and viewers alike. He had a strong start to his time in the Premier League, and recorded the second most assists in one season, laying on 19 goals for his teammates in the 2015/16 campaign.
But his influence over the Gunners has faded in recent years, and he lost his place in the side under both Unai Emery and current coach Arteta. This culminated in his exclusion from this season’s squad, and he has been reduced to supporting his teammates from Twitter.
It was reported last Saturday that Ozil and Arsenal had agreed to terminate his contract, allowing him to leave the Emirates stadium for nothing, while the club could remove his huge salary from their wage bill.
And with the German heavily linked with a move to Fenerbahce, that deal appeared to be edging ever closer, after he tweeted an image of an hourglass, counting down the minutes until his announcement was made official.
That deal has finally come to fruition, bringing the curtain down on Ozil’s time at Arsenal, as he waves goodbye to the Premier League, and begins a new adventure in Turkey.