Mesut Ozil’s move to Fenerbahce is being delayed due to the “quarantine situation” in Turkey but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta does not believe there is anything to be concerned about.
It became clear at the start of the month that Ozil was likely to depart Arsenal in the January transfer window, as links with Fener and Major League Soccer emerged.
Fener quickly became frontrunners, helped by the fact Ozil supported them as a child, and the German midfielder has done little to keep their discussions under wraps.
Ozil effectively confirmed the move on Sunday when speaking on Turkish television station NTV, and he arrived in Istanbul that night.
When the transfer is completed, it will bring to an end a seven-and-a-half-year spell at Arsenal, with Ozil having joined in 2013 from Real Madrid.
And while he lit up the Premier League during his earlier days, Ozil’s impact has been limited since Arsene Wenger departed in 2018.
Addressing the delay of confirmation for Ozil’s departure, Arteta told reporters on Thursday: “The quarantine situation is making that final step the longest ever.
“They have a lot of restrictions there [in Turkey]. Everything seems to be going OK, but I cannot say definitely what is going to happen. As soon as I can, we will mention.”
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 19, 2021
Arteta’s appointment at Arsenal appeared to present Ozil with a second chance to breathe life back into his career at the club, with the Spaniard suggesting he was going to build the team in a way that got the best out of him.
Ozil played 10 Premier League games between Arteta’s appointment and the coronavirus pandemic bringing a halt to action in March, but he has not played since.
“He’s a great footballer, a really talented player, but at the moment I want to take the team in a different direction,” Arteta said. “Maybe he was part of some plans at the start, but he wasn’t anymore by the end.
“For many different reasons [it has been difficult] – his history here, how things developed, how I think the team should evolve in the future and his position at the club.
“A player with such importance that is not playing, is not in the squad, is such a difficult situation to sustain for both parties. The player wants to play, we cannot give him the minutes and obviously that situation has to be resolved.”
In his prime, Ozil was one of the Premier League’s finest attacking midfielders and laid on a remarkable 19 assists in the 2015-16 season.
Although his influence waned since then, he was still Arsenal’s most productive player in terms of chances created per 90 minutes (2.4) in the Premier League last season.
But their long association is set to end, with Ozil getting the move to Fener he has longed for.