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Mesut Ozil close to Arsenal exit, Fenerbahce move

Tim Howard and Robbie Mustoe assess where Arsenal stand in the midst of a strong run of form and how they can translate it into long-term results.

Mesut Ozil is finally leaving Arsenal and the German playmaker is heading to play for Fenerbahce, his boyhood club.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

Ozil hasn’t played for Arsenal during the 2020-21 season after being left out of their Premier League and UEFA Europa League squads by Mikel Arteta.

Arteta has always said that decision was down to Ozil’s performances in training, but many believe there was a falling out behind-the-scenes between the German star, his manager and others at the club.

A report from The Athletic states that a deal has been agreed when it comes to Ozil, 32, agreeing to forego a chunk of his remaining wages at Arsenal as he is contracted to the Gunners until July 1.

Since the start of January he has been able to talk to clubs outside of England and the former Schalke and Real Madrid was linked with a move to D.C. United in Major League Soccer.

Earlier this week Ozil had this to say about a possible move to Fenerbahce.

“If I went to Turkey, I could only go to Fenerbahce,” Ozil said. “I grew up as a Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany - every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in my country.”

It is believed Ozil will join Fenerbahce on a free transfer in the next few days, and here are more details from our partners in the UK at Sky Sports.

“The developments come after progress was made in talks between Arsenal technical director Edu, Fenerbahce director Emre and Ozil’s agent. The Gunners made it clear they wanted Ozil to leave in January.

“Ozil’s wages - he currently earns around £350,000 per week - are not expected to be a problem, and it is thought he will forego a portion of the outstanding pay on the remainder of his Arsenal contract.

“Fenerbahce are under increasing pressure to meet financial fair play regulations and made it clear throughout the negotiation process that they would be unable to pay any significant transfer fee to Arsenal.”

Per previous reports, Ozil will be given a $3 million signing bonus at Fenerbahce and be on wages of $6.1 million per season.

How will Ozil be remembered at Arsenal?

When Ozil arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2013 from Real Madrid, I was at his debut at Sunderland when he dazzled, and many believe his arrival allowed Arsenal to continue to attract top talents to join the master creator.

He won FA Cups, helped keep them in the top four for many years, and there’s a sense that perhaps he never quite had the team around him to support his moments of genius.

Ozil’s form has been up and down over the last four seasons but as recently as early 2020 he was a key part of Arteta’s Arsenal rebuild and was scoring and creating goals in the Premier League.

All in all, there will be a feeling of ‘what might have been’ when it comes to Ozil’s time in the Premier League at Arsenal.

Over the last seven-and-a-half years he has 54 assists in the Premier League, a rate of one every 283 minutes which ranks 10th all-time in Premier League history. But fans often criticized his work-rate and believed his mercurial talents caused an imbalance at Arsenal as Arsene Wenger’s side fell from title contenders to being top four hopefuls.

Ozil’s silky skills mean he will always find a place in some of the best teams on the planet and although he delivered moments of genius for Arsenal, the way his career in north London has fizzled out is disappointing for everyone concerned.

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