New Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil has responded to his former Real Madrid team-mates goodbyes by taking to his official Twitter account to thank them for his time in Spain.
The Gunners smashed their club transfer record with the £42.5m acquisition of the German, with the deadline day deal dominating the headlines as Arsene Wenger landed the “world class signing” he had promised.
There was immediate surprise that the Spanish club were willing to let the 24-year-old leave the club, although the completion of their world-record transfer for Gareth Bale from Tottenham for a staggering £86m forced their hand with a view to repaying loans that funded the move.
Regardless, Real stars Sergio Ramos, Isco and Alvaro Arbeloa have spoken of their shock and surprise at the sale, while Crisitano Ronaldo was reported to have been angered by Ozil’s departure, claiming the attacking midfielder knew his movements in front of goal the best in the current squad.
Barcelona midfielder and former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas also admitted his surprise that Ozil had moved, claiming Arsenal had landed the “second best player at Real Madrid after Cristiano (Ronaldo)”, and Ozil’s national coach Joachim Low labelled the move at “incomprehensible”.
The Germany international is currently with the rest of the national team ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Austria and the Faroe Islands, but he has sent a message of thanks to his former club for the support the squad has shown.
“Thanks a lot for your friendship the last three years and the support the last days. It´s wonderful, to know, to have friends like you,” Ozil said on his Twitter account.
He had previously posted a message on his Facebook account reading: “dear fans of real madrid, thank you very much for three wonderful years with all of you. my time at real madrid was unique and special for me. sometimes things develop differently, than i would have expected them to a few days ago. although I’m leaving real madrid I wish you and the team the very best for the future. now I’m looking forward to my new club: THE GUNNERS!(sic).
He also posted a picture of himself and Ramos hugging each over in one of their appearances for Los Merengues, along with the words “I will miss u bro..I wish u all the best.”
Fans of the La Liga runners-up were incensed by the sale, with chants of “Don’t sell Ozil” ringing around the Santiago Bernabeu during Gareth Bale’s unveiling on Monday.
A poll on www.insidespanishfootball.com asked whether Bale for €90m of Ozil for €50m was a better deal. An landslide 87% voted in favour of Ozil, while Bale received just 4% backing with 9% saying neither.