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Ozil targeting title with Arsenal

ESPN staff
September 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Mesut Ozil is in contention to start for Arsenal this weekend

Mesut Ozil believes Arsenal are ready to challenge for the Premier League title this season and admitted his decision to leave Real Madrid was due to his desire to feel wanted by his employers.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Ozil is in contention to start for Arsenal at the Stadium of Light on Saturday and he is clearly relishing the challenge after sealing his £42.5m move from Madrid on transfer deadline day.

"Of course we can challenge for the Premier League," said Ozil at a packed press conference at the club's London Colney training base on Thursday lunchtime ."I know the team, I know the talent we have here.

"Everyone wants to be successful and Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We want to achieve things with this team. Of course it will be difficult because the league is very balanced, but we work hard to a achieve this.

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"We want to play offensive and good football and to keep clean sheets. We want to play attractive football. I can't promise to win trophies, but I promise as a team we will give our all to win trophies.

"I feel very good here. It's great to be part of this team. You can see how familiar this club is, when I arrived here everything is great. I feel very well here. The boss is great, I'm sure he will improve me, that is why I decided to come here."

Ozil repeatedly referred to his need to feel appreciated by a club and its manager, with Wenger's desire to build an Arsenal team around the talents of the German midfielder clearly central to his decision to join the north London club.

"It is a very respectful treatment at Arsenal," he continued. "This is important for me, to feel good here. This is where I will work every day. I spoke to Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski said this and they were right.

"I would have come here without a fee, that wouldn't be a problem. Of course I am proud of this (price tag), but the most important thing is the manager trusts me. He trusts me.

"When I talked to Arsene on the phone, he was full of respect. Me, as a player, I need the respect and that is why I came here. I don't want to talk about Real Madrid. That topic is over. Hopefully I have many wonderful years here and win many trophies."

Wenger revealed he tried to sign Ozil before he moved to Real Madrid three years ago and he believes that initial contact with the player was crucial in sealing the quick-fire deal on September 2.

"When Mesut went to Real Madrid, we were already in touch," stated Wenger. "Back then I wanted to get him to Arsenal, so that was the start of our relationship. Now the second time it worked. I think the first contact really helped.

"I told you two or three days before the end of the window that I was optimistic (of a big signing). I looked a bit lonely when I said we were optimistic, but we worked hard and in the end it happened. It was very complicated. On Sunday, when we went into the Tottenham game, around 2pm, I was 90 per cent confident we would do it."

Wenger went on to insist he had no problem shattering Arsenal's transfer record to sign Ozil, as he defended the big spending of clubs that are not propped up by wealthy benefactors.

"I fight for the teams to spend the money they have made, not the money they have artificially earned," stated Wenger. "Once they have made that money, they can spend it. Finding world class players is difficult because there are not many around.

"This (Ozil transfer) was linked with the Bale transfer. I don't know exactly what happened at Real Madrid. Was it down to financials reasons? Was it down to the fact they signed Bale, they had Isco, they had to let someone go, but I am surprised (this transfer happened), yes.

"Of course, this signing (is a statement). When I signed my last long contract, I knew we had to go through some years where we would be restricted with our financial potential. The target was to stay in the Champions League in that period. We did that and now we are in a stronger position financially."

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