Transfer news: Cesc Fabregas says Arsenal have signed the 'second best player at Real Madrid after Cristiano Ronaldo' in Mesut Ozil

Former Gunners captain was surprised Real allowed the Germany international to leave and insists he will be a great addition to the club

Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas believes Arsene Wenger has pulled off a major coup by signing Real Madrid’s second-best player with their deadline day signing of Mesut Ozil.

The club-record £42.5m deal for the German was confirmed with under an hour to go until the 11pm deadline on Monday, with Wenger finally landing the world-class signing he had promised throughout the transfer window.

Having already missed out on Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Luiz Gustavo among others, Wenger’s confidence in Ozil has been said to be the decisive factor in luring the 24-year-old to the Emirates Stadium, with the deal becoming the biggest move of transfer deadline day.

A number of Real Madrid squad players have admitted their shock and surprise at Ozil’s departure, with Spain contingent Sergio Ramoes, Isco and Alvaro Arbeloa speaking out over his sale.

Cristiano Ronaldo has even gone as far to express his anger that Ozil was allowed to leave, claiming that the attacking midfielder knew his movements in front of goal better than anyone else in the squad.

Now at Barcelona, Fabregas has also admitted his surprise at Real’s decision to sell Ozil, although he believes the move is a masterstroke from the north London club.

Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, Fabregas said: "I was really surprised by Ozil's departure. He seemed to me the second-best player at Madrid, after Cristiano (Ronaldo).

"He'll be great for Arsenal."

Fabregas spent eight successful seasons with the Gunners that saw him rise from a baby-faced 16-year-old signed from the Nou Camp to the Arsenal captain, which also saw him start in the 2006 Champions League final defeat to his current club.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a return to Arsenal at some point in his career, but he has endured a summer linked with another Premier League club in Manchester United, who appeared at one point determined to add the midfielder to their squad.

United had two official bids turned down by the La Liga champions – the second of £35m – and the English champions were believed to be preparing a third bid when Fabregas spoke out over his happiness at the Nou Camp, with what he labelled his “dream club”.

He had been slightly concerned with the tendency to leave him on the bench for crucial games such as the El Classico’s and the Champions League ties with AC Milan, Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich, where he only started one of the two-legged meetings.

Fabregas welcomes the challenge though, where he is competing with Xavi and Andreas Iniesta for not just a Barcelona starting spot, but also for Spain. Thiago Alcantara’s departure to Munich means there is now one less midfielder to compete with, but it could also mean his former team-mate could leapfrog Fabregas in the national team pecking order if he gains regular first team action.

Fabregas believes Ozil was the second best player after Cristiano Ronaldo Fabregas believes Ozil was the second best player after Cristiano Ronaldo  

 

"The tougher the challenge the better I like it and Barcelona was the biggest and most difficult, and I want to finish in a happy manner and if I can retire at Barca, then so much the better,” claimed Fabregas.

"The only thing in my head is triumphing at Barcelona.

"When I arrived at Barcelona I already knew there were other places where I could earn more or where I could have more minutes, but coming to Barca was my dream.

"It was my dream since I was small. I wouldn't go, not even for double the money."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence