In an interview with a Turkish broadcaster, the German midfielder said he was fit to play despite missing almost a year of football.
Mesut Ozil has confirmed he is leaving Arsenal for Turkish club Fenerbahce, saying he is “very excited” to join a team he has always supported and is in good physical condition despite the fact that he was missing nearly a year of football.
The German World Cup winner was sidelined from the London club for months and was sidelined from his English Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of the season.
The 32-year-old, of Turkish descent, has long been linked with a move to Fenerbahce, one of Istanbul’s big three clubs.
Speaking to Turkish TV station NTV on Sunday, Ozil said he would arrive in the Turkish city early Monday to seal his move.
“I am a fan of Fenerbahce. This is why I am very happy to come to Turkey with Fenerbahce ”, said Ozil. “I am very excited. God gave me the chance to wear this jersey as a Fenerbahce fan. God willing, I will wear it with honor and do my best for the team,” he said. he adds.
Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March 2020 and his advertised weekly salary contract of £ 350,000 ($ 475,000) was due to expire at the end of the current season.
“Of course I miss a few games. I haven’t played in a game for a while, but I’m in good physical shape, I have no problem, ”he said, adding that he had trained with the first team at Arsenal during his time off the field.
– Mesut Özil (@ MesutOzil1088) January 17, 2021
In a Twitter post, Ozil tweeted “67” with a heart-shaped emoji, apparently referring to the first two digits of the Zonguldak zip code in Turkey, where his family is from.
According to media reports in Turkey, Ozil will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal with Fenerbahce, who is currently second in the championship behind Besiktas.
Signed in 2013 for a then-club record of around 42 million pounds ($ 57 million) by Spanish giant Real Madrid, Ozil played a significant role under Arsene Wenger in ending the drought in the Arsenal trophy, winning the FA Cup in his debut season.
But he found himself marginalized under Wenger replacement Unai Emery and again by current manager Mikel Arteta, who said the player’s omission from the squad was for “football reasons”.
During his time at Arsenal, Ozil scored 44 goals in 254 appearances in all competitions.
He was a key part of the 2014 World Cup-winning German squad, but after what he called “racist” attacks following the starters’ first-round exit at the 2018 tournament, he put end of his international career.