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Arsene Wenger has congratulated Fenerbahce on their imminent signing of Mesut Ozil and believes the Arsenal outcast can propel them to the Turkish league title.
The German World Cup winner was given permission by the north London club to fly to Istanbul on Sunday evening to complete the final details of his January switch to Fenerbahce, having been frozen out at the Emirates by manager Mikel Arteta.
Wenger has spoken in the past about his disappointment regarding Ozil’s situation, with the 32-year-old last playing a competitive match 10 months ago, but he appeared thrilled that his former charge has landed his dream move.
‘Well first of all I would say you have the pleasure to announce a transfer like that in a period where you will not have many transfers,’ he told BeIN SPORTS Turkey when asked about Ozil’s looming move to Istanbul.
‘And he will certainly be the biggest transfer of the January transfer window, because the world of football is a bit quiet. ‘But overall it’s fantastic news for Fenerbahce, who are in a strong position in the league, and I think he can be the piece of the puzzle that will make them even more of a threat to win the Turkish league.’
Asked if Ozil had ever mentioned wanting to play for Fenerbahce, Wenger continued: ‘I had never had a conversation [with him] about Fenerbahce before because I wanted to keep Mesut Ozil at Arsenal! ‘But I could always feel a strong Turkish link because I met the family, I met his agent, I met his father when I signed him.
‘You could see that there is a strong attachment to Turkey and a big interest in the Turkish league.’
Wenger pulled off a huge coup by luring Ozil to Arsenal back in 2013 from Real Madrid and the attacking midfielder enjoyed a largely excellent seven-and-a-half-year career at the Emirates, leading the club’s assists charts and winning the FA Cup three times.
However, he fell out of favour under current boss Arteta and was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads, though the Spaniard never really explained why, and Ozil will now look to revive his career in Turkey.