Mesut Ozil has completed his move to Fenerbahce after coming to an agreement to terminate his contract at Arsenal.
The midfielder has signed a deal with the Turkish champions after a breakthrough in talks with Arsenal last weekend, the two parties agreeing a deal that will see the German depart on a free transfer after finding himself ostracised under Mikel Arteta.
Ozil had not featured for the north London side since March and was left out of the Gunners’ squads for the Premier League and Europa League this season, the club desperate to remove the cost of the 32-year-old’s record-breaking £350,000-a-week wages.
Ozil’s move was held up by Turkey’s current quarantine rules, though all parties have now confirmed that the deal has been concluded to bring an end to his time in the Premier League.
It brings an end to a saga that has proven an unwelcome distraction for Arsenal for some time, the World Cup winner having become an increasingly peripheral figure at the Emirates under a succession of managers.
Ozil signed for the club in a then record deal from Real Madrid in 2013 and his arrival was supposed to usher in a new dawn for a side that had struggled to compete following the move into the Emirates Stadium.
However, it ultimately failed to be the transformative signing that many had hoped, with the lasting memories of Ozil set to be centred around the manner of his exit and perceived unwillingness to be pushed out of the exit door.
The midfielder won the FA Cup during his debut campaign and lifted the trophy on a further two occasions, whilst his 146 chances created in 2015/16 is the highest any Premier League player has managed since the data was first collected.
Fitting that Mesut Ozil's final act in an Arsenal shirt was a match winning assist 👏 pic.twitter.com/7VYVLNZ9sQ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 24, 2021
From there, his output declined, however, and despite enjoying several fine moments his legacy is one that is likely to be remembered as unfulfilled.
Writing on Twitter, Ozil had a lengthy message for Arsenal fans after his move to the Turkish Super Lig was confirmed: “7.5 years. Nearly 3,000 days. It feels strange to be writing this message after such a long time here in London. Since the moment I arrived, it has felt like home. I was welcomed with open arms by all the Arsenal staff, my teammates, and most importantly the incredible fans. I will always be grateful for the trust placed in me by Arsene Wenger in September of 2013. I’ve grown up as an adult in North London, a place I can always call home. I’ll never forget that.
“Being with Arsenal for so long has meant I’ve experienced a big mix of ups and downs. Over 250 games, 44 goals and 71 assists later, it’s time that Arsenal and I finally part ways.
“Together, we ended the club’s nine-year trophy drought, and brought long-needed silverware back to the fans who deserved it.
A 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠 of assists 👑
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 24, 2021
“It is difficult for me to put into words the love I feel for this club and the fans. How could I possibly describe eight years of gratitude in a single letter?
“Whilst I may be no longer playing for the club, I will continue to support them in every game they play. I will be a Gunner for life – no doubt about that.
“Now more than ever we must all be behind the team. This season is a tough one for every team in the Premier League and that is why we must all back the current squad and staff no matter the results.
“For me, it’s been amazing to see some of the boys from hale End coming through into the first team setup. As we all know, they are the future of our club, and I wish them every success!
“Hearing my name chanted around the Emirates will forever give me goosebumps, and the memories I’ve made putting on this jersey will stick with me for life.
“Much has been written about my time at Arsenal, especially in recent months. Arsenal is a club of class and prestige, something I felt every time I walked onto the pitch.
“As I said, the past few months haven’t been the easiest. Like every player, I want to play every minute of football for my team. In life, however, things do not always play out as we expect or want them to. But it is important to look for the positives in life, which is why I try to live with no regrets and holding no grudges.
“It might be the end of a chapter, but my connection with this amazing club will never fade. It might be goodbye for now but it is not goodbye forever.”