Arsenal have finally smashed their club transfer record to sign German midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. It is a signing that signals the intent and desire from Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal fans have been crying out for a ‘marquee’ addition for several seasons, and have experienced the pain of settling for fourth place while their better players leave. But this summer, despite taking far longer than usual, that marquee addition has happened for Gooners.
Yes, the club have only sold players that were considered dead weight this year. They’ve kept hold of their best players and made the addition for a huge fee that will improve them considerably. The fee is reported to be at around £42 million, while the previous record was Andrey Arshavin for £15m.
The class that Ozil possesses cannot be underestimated. This is the man who three years ago tore apart England at the 2010 World Cup, leaving the rest of Europe in awe of his talents. It is easy for people to play down the importance of this move with the need for other faces still present.
But, Ozil is world-class. As attacking midfielders go, he is one of the best and most versatile — which is what Arsenal really need.
It is an addition that will give them momentum and belief after this international break, but the contrast of this deadline day to previous ones is something that stands out the most.
Arsenal have signed a really high-quality player, and it is not a panic buy. There is a not a feeling of needing to replace a departing player. It is an addition, and it is one to excite Arsenal fans and players.
This puts them right back with the top teams in the Premier League. They have a core that could still do with a few other players, but really, to use a simple metaphor — they have the base of their cake, and they need the cherries.
This is one of them, if not the biggest.