Transfer news: Mesut Ozil turns Arsenal into genuine title contenders despite Demba Ba deadline day deal collapse

Jose Mourinho worked with Ozil at Real Madrid and recognised that there is no other player quite like the German attacking midfielder

Jack de Menezes
Wednesday 04 September 2013 17:17
Demba Ba and Jose Mourinho
Demba Ba and Jose Mourinho

Arsene Wenger has been left light up top after Demba Ba’s deadline day loan move to Arsenal failed to materialise, although the addition of Mesut Ozil has turned them into genuine title contenders.

Arsenal made an approach for Ba on the final day of the summer transfer window and appeared favourites to take the Senegalese striker on a season-long deal.

Negotiations between the two clubs eventually led to nothing, with both Tottenham and West Ham also enquiring over Ba’s availability, and instead 20-year-old Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku joined Everton on a season-long loan meaning Ba stayed with the Europa League champions.

The signing of 24-year-old German Ozil for £42.5m ensured Arsenal completed their most important piece of business however, and the acquisition will be one Mourinho approves of.

Mourinho has admitted in the past that Ozil is a natural talent having worked with him at Real Madrid, and with the eleventh hour bid for Ba ending in failure, Wenger had no time left to go after another target, having already missed out on Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez earlier in the summer.

“Ozil is unique,” Mourinho has said previously. “There is no copy of him – not even a bad one. He is the best number 10 in the world. He makes things very easy for me and for his team-mates with his football vision and the decisions he makes.

“Everyone loves him and sees a bit of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in him.

Wenger was desperate to sign a new striker, with Olivier Giroud his only fit and recognised forward available – although both Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott can fill in for the Frenchman. The failure to sign Ba led to the north London club calling off the sale of Nicklas Bendtner’s transfer to Crystal Palace.

Bendtner may be required to pull on the red and white of Arsenal once again due to the injury Podolski suffered last week appearing to be worse than first thought.

After being examined by the German national physio Dr Hans-Muller Wohlfahrt, it appears he could be out until the New Year.

Podolski told German newspaper Bild “Unfortunately I’ll be out a long while, around three months,” after Dr Wohlfahrt confirmed he had torn his hamstring rather than strained it.

Bendtner issued a statement yesterday though admitting he was fully committed to the Gunners and wanted to assist them in having a successful season, although he did admit he wants to play football regularly for the club.

Mourinho believes the addition of Ozil has turned the Gunners into genuine title contenders

“The truth is I just want to play football which is when I’m happiest and Arsenal is a fantastic environment for any professional to apply their trade,” said the Danish striker.

“I want to assure all Arsenal fans that I will give everything I have to contribute to what I believe will be a successful season for the club.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments