Arsene Wenger feels signing of Mesut Ozil echoes that of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp in more ways than one
Bergkamp went on to have a hugely successful career at Highbury, and Wenger feels that the 'huge' signing is demonstrative of both his and the club's ambition
Arsene Wenger has admitted that the signing of Mesut Ozil has echoed the 1995 move for Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, and he is hopeful that the young German will have a similar effect on the north London side.
Bergkamp joined the Gunners under the guidance of former manager Bruce Rioch, costing a reported £7.5m from Inter Milan after the club deemed him surplus to requirements.
His arrival is regarded as a groundbreaking moment for the club, with the Dutchman going on to earn a reputation of producing the sublime in the red and white of Arsenal.
His move at the time tripled the Arsenal transfer record of £2.5m, similar to Ozil’s £42.5m move which is just shy of three-times the amount the Gunners had previously spent on a new signing.
But Wenger feels the addition of Ozil resembles that of Bergkamp in more ways than just the price.
"It is comparable because they are similar players in the same department and they are big names who come from big teams," Wenger told Arsenal Player.
"You must say as well that Ozil was not perceived as being a failure at Real Madrid, he was perceived by the whole world as being a huge success at Real Madrid so of course the noise made by a signature like that is big."
Wenger also believes that the capture of 24-year-old Ozil answer the critics that were questioning both the club’s and Wenger’s ambition, with the 63-year-old Frenchman determined to take the club back to the heights of the top of English football.
Bergkamp was part of the “Invincibles” side that dominated the 2003-04 season, and Wenger believes that the club can now press on and challenge for the Premier League once more.
"They were questioning my desire to spend money, maybe the ambition as well because today the ambition is linked with the amount of money you spend," he said.
"We are very ambitious, we went through a few years where we had less resources and there is no shame to say that because we have built a new stadium. Now we are back with the ambition as big as everybody else, if not bigger."
Wenger appeared reluctant in recent seasons to spend large sums of money similar to his rivals expenditure, with the club paying off debts they built up with the move to the Emirates while also posting profits season-on-season.
However, with the stadium debts no longer inhibiting the club’s spending power, and new sponsor deal being negotiated that could significantly boost the club’s transfer budget each year, Wenger appears to be benefitting from years of stringent player recruitment while achieving their aim of remaining in the Champions League.
Whether that ambition shown in the Ozil signing can now be transferred onto the pitch remains to be seen, but if the Germany international can replicate Bergkamp’s Arsenal career, Wenger will have pulled off another masterstroke in the transfer market.
Ozil gets to know his knew home, the Emirates Stadium
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