Hector Bellerin admits no one at Arsenal was surprised when Mesut Ozil finally penned a new deal last week – apparently they all knew he was going to stay.
According to Bellerin, Ozil loves Arsenal and London, so when he signed on for another three years with the Gunners last week, most of the squad were already expecting it.
“Everyone in the training ground, everyone in the team knew he was going to stay,” the 22-year-old told Arsenal.com.
“He is a guy that loves London, loves Arsenal and he always gets really angry when things don’t go well. So you know how much it means for him to win or lose for this club. So I think everyone in the club, the dressing room, was sure.
“It is as exciting as a new signing. To have a player with Mesut’s qualities and all he brings to the team to sign for a few more years, it is really exciting for Arsenal and for the fans.”
Ozil is the highest paid player at Arsenal on £350k-per-week before tax. But considering how integral he is to the squad, I don’t see anyone complaining.
Since joining the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013 for a club record (at the time) of £42.5m, the playmaker has been a fan favourite and, after almost a year of speculation over his future, I think most Gooners just wanted Arsenal to pay Ozil whatever it took to keep him in north London.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the squad felt the same.
As Bellerin says though, he probably didn’t take that much persuading considering how happy he is.
Bellerin was one of the first players to respond to the official news that Ozil had signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal. The right-back tweeted, “Yes bro!! Took your time” complete with the cry-laughing emoji less than 15 minutes after the announcement.
That fact that Bellerin felt comfortable enough to joke around with Ozil about the situation does suggest that most of the squad knew the 29-year-old was going to stay.
Well, that and Mohamed Elneny spilling the beans when he probably wasn’t supposed to.