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Premier League

Mesut Ozil arrives at Arsenal to abate increasing injury problems ahead of Premier League debut against Sunderland

Club-record signing could be thrown straight into the starting line-up having only trained with the Gunners for the first time today

Mesut Ozil touched down at Arsenal’s Hertfordshire training ground today to begin his new career as the Gunners’ club-record signing, and he wasted no time in meeting his new team-mates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and international colleague Lukas Podolski.

Click HERE or 'VIEW GALLERY' to launch our gallery of Mesut Ozil's first day at Arsenal

Ozil became what many saw as the Premier League signing of the summer when he completed a £42.5m move from Real Madrid, and he is set to make his debut for the north London club on Saturday when they travel north to take on Sunderland.

Manager Arsene Wenger had come in for criticism during the summer for his lack of transfer activity despite a reported £70m transfer budget that they were willing to spend, but he had since been credited as the deciding factor in persuading Ozil to join the club.

A phone call from Wenger to Ozil in fluent German instilled a trust and confidence in the attacking midfielder that he felt he was lacking in Spain, and the deal was completed with under an hour to go until the 11pm deadline on September 2.

Ozil has already admitted his excitement at playing for the club, and his desire to bring a first trophy to the Emirates Stadium since the 2005 FA Cup success.

However, Ozil’s excitement is unlikely to match that of the expectant Gunners’ fans, who have been craving a big-money signing like his for years.

Wenger signed Spaniard Santi Cazorla last season for £16m from La Liga side Malaga, but the deal for Ozil nearly tripled that to smash the club’s previous transfer record. The prospect of seeing Ozil, Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere in the Arsenal attack is an enthralling one, and with Frenchman Olivier Giroud’s impressive start to the season in which he has scored four goals in five appearances, the Gunners could finally be back onto the path where they belong.

The international break has taken its toll though, with Wenger sweating over the fitness of England duo Wilshere and Walcott, while there are also concerns over Welshman Aaron Ramsey and Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky.

Wilshere was substituted in the goalless draw with Ukraine on Tuesday, while Walcott limped off after a bad challenge from Ukraine captain Olexandr Kucher, but both should be fit for this weekend’s trip to the Stadium of Light, while Wenger is also hopeful on the fitness of Ramsey.

Oxlade-Chamberlain alongside new Arsenal signing Ozil after he linked up with the squad for the first time


Rosicky returned from international duty with a thigh injury though, and he is doubtful for the trip to the north-east. With Wenger already missing Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Yaya Sanogo and Thomas Vermaelen, Wenger could be pushed into naming Ozil in his starting line-up immediately, although the talented 24-year-old is likely to take the swift introduction to the Premier League in his stride.

Ozil poses with his Germany team-mate Podolski

Click HERE or 'VIEW GALLERY' to launch our gallery of Mesut Ozil's first day at Arsenal