Arsenal spending £42.5m on Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil raises concerns in Germany

The midfielder's decision to leave Real Madrid had much to do with his international ambitions ahead of the World Cup

It takes a club like Real Madrid to sell a player like Mesut Ozil just one week after he has pledged his full intention to stay at the club. While the jubilant celebrations of Arsenal fans on Monday night may have been a little premature – transfers, after all, do not equal trophies – there is no doubt that Arsene Wenger has pulled off something of a coup.

Ozil is, and will remain for a while, one of the world's most gifted midfielders. There is much to be draw from the fact that Arsenal have managed to secure his services, not least the way we view this transfer window. There is a certain irony in the fact that it was Tottenham, whose "mastery" of the markets had gained them so much praise at Arsenal's expense, who paved the way for Ozil's move to the Emirates by selling their best player.

There is also the fact that international football, widely acknowledged to be suffering at the hands of its more lucrative club counterpart, still has an immense significance for the world's top players. A week ago, Ozil was convinced he was staying at Real, but once the Bale transfer came through and the club's lack of absolute faith in him was consolidated, he professed himself happy to depart. Less than a year before the World Cup, he was not willing to risk his place on the national team by warming a bench in Madrid.

It was in terms of faith, or lack thereof, that Ozil justified his move in an interview with the German FA's official TV channel: "I know I can play well at any club in the world, I have enough confidence in myself. But when I didn't feel that there was faith in me, I had to leave the club. At Arsenal, I felt there was full faith in what I can do."

Faith, expectation, need perhaps. Whatever Arsene Wenger expressed in his telephone conversation with the German international, first team football and absolute faith must have been high on the list. Ozil, for all his qualities and confidence, is a shy individual who will come up against the likes of Mario Gotze and Marco Reus in the competition for national team places. Aside from the internal politics of Real Madrid, this move may well be a very reasonable one for him individually.

In Germany, though, the talk is less of faith, less of Ozil's abilities, and less of the fight for places under Joachim Low. Mesut Ozil has this week become the most expensive German player in history and, alongside Mario Gomez, is now one of two players who appear twice in the top 10 most expensive transfer fees for a German player. The amount of money being thrown around is beginning to concern a few people back home.

Real Madrid could no longer guarantee a place in the side Ozil Real Madrid could no longer guarantee a place in the side Ozil  

Most prominent has been Oliver Bierhoff, the national team's General Manager, who, when asked yesterday of his thoughts on the transfer, was quick to move onto the philosophical side of things: "These are figures that we can no longer even comprehend. It's a free market, but we have to be careful not to get into a spiral when it comes to transfer fees, or smaller clubs will start to buckle."

Not that some smaller clubs will be complaining over this particular transfer. Under Fifa rules, both Schalke 04 and SV Werder Bremen will receive a small portion of the near €50m sum while, most remarkably of all, around €800,000 is set to go in the direction of Rot-Weiß Essen, where Özil spent five years as a teenager. Not bad for a club currently sitting mid table in the German Regionalliga West. 

For most other clubs, though, the whole saga represents, as Bierhoff expressed, a worrying trend. Most in the Bundesliga went into uproar over the scale of Mario Gotze's €35m move to FC Bayern. The transfers of Ozil and Bale are on a different scale. For Arsenal and Ozil, it is an expensive but ultimately positive move; for Real Madrid it is a gamble and an admission that, despite being the world's biggest club, they cannot really afford to spend €100m on one player. Most in Germany, meanwhile, can do little but shake their heads.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on