On this day three years ago, Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid and he changed everything.
The £42.5m signing of the German international wasn’t just a huge signing for the club at the time but a statement of intent for the future. Arsenal had never spent anywhere near that amount of money on anyone and I remember the day as if it was yesterday.
To put this into context, you know how a lot of people have one or two players outside of the club they support that they just love and would do anything for them to sign for their team? Mesut Ozil was mine (so was Juan Mata but that’s another story).
When I heard that we were linked with him, a couple of days before the window shut in 2013, I refused to believe it because I was so ready to be let down.
When we signed him I legitimately had tears in my eyes.
Every time I see him in an Arsenal shirt I still can’t believe it. He’s my favourite player in the world and I feel so privileged that I get to see him play for my team.
In his three years at Arsenal, he’s made 119 appearances, assisted 43 and scored 21. He’s battled back from a ruptured knee ligament, hamstring problems and various other ‘niggles’. As cheesy as this sounds, what he did for the club is beyond what can be written down on paper or counted. It’s beyond how many he’s assisted or whether he’s overtaken some other guy from some other team.
He instilled belief and took a chance on a club that wasn’t doing so great.
I love him.