Mesut Ozil has finally brought his eight-year stay at Arsenal to an end, signing for Fenerbahce on a three-year deal.
Ozil and Arsenal had agreed to a mutual termination of his contract, allowing the German international to move to the Turkish club on a free transfer. The player reportedly gave up much of the £7m owed to him by the Gunners in order to make the move.
The 32-year-old leaves as one of Arsenal’s all-time leading assist makers, with only Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas recording more in the Premier League era.
Ozil has long-spoken of his desire to play for Fener, as he grew up supporting the side as a child. Ozil’s grandparents are from Turkey, although the player himself was born in Germany and opted to represent his birth country on the international stage.
The former Real Madrid midfielder has held close links with Turkey for some years, and President Erdogan was even Best Man at Ozil’s wedding in 2019. This led to criticism from German nationals, who blamed Ozil for the country’s poor display at the 2018 World Cup.
The move to Turkey should free up a sizeable chunk of wage budget for the Gunners, who have been quiet in the transfer window so far. Reinforcements are expected more in the summer, with the focus now on continuing their revival after a poor first half of the season.