Defender backs international colleague to shine with the Gunners.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has insisted that Arsene Wenger has signed a bargain in Mesut Ozil – even though he cost the club £42.5m when he joined from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day, the Daily Mail reports.
The manager raised eyebrows by splashing so much cash on one player so late in the window after repeated calls for him to strengthen his side at an earlier date.
Ozil smashed the club’s transfer record, and Mertesacker believes that his international colleague will make a huge difference to the club’s season and will be worth every penny of the hefty sum.
“I think he is worth what we paid for him,” Mertesacker told Sportsmail. “He is a phenomenal player and I think he has not reached his best, at the moment.
“He will fit in. He will suit Arsenal. We are really looking forward to playing with him and being his teammate.
“I think his contribution to this club will be massive.
“He’s an exceptional player and we are over the moon to have him at Arsenal. You could see his intelligence, especially the last pass, the decisive pass, is vital in his game and we can expect a lot.
“He’s shy but he developed in the last few years. When he went to Madrid, went abroad, I think he improved a lot. He went through rough times as well so his experience is vital and can make the difference.
“His confidence is still big and that will rise.’ Ozil played up front for the final few minutes of Germany’s 3-0 victory over Austria on Friday and Mertesacker suggested he could play there for Arsenal if circumstances dictated. The defender also said the capture of a proven world class performer had changed the mentality at the Emirates.
“We were patient all the time on the transfer market,” Mertesacker said. “Mr Wenger said always he was on the market but nothing happened at all but I could feel that something happened at the end of the transfer window. We really appreciate that transfer.”
Mertesacker also revealed that he did not need to sell the club to the playmaker, but had previously painted a warm picture of both life at the Emirates and London in general.
“When we met at the national team we spoke a lot about Arsenal and a lot about London and I always said it’s a big city and a good club to be at,’ he added. ‘So maybe that was in his mind when he took the decision to join us.”