The Germany international could not hide his excitement over his former Werder Bremen team-mate’s arrival at the Emirates and expressed his honour at being handed the captaincy
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker say he is thrilled to see international team-mate Mesut ozil arrive at the Emirates and has described the 28-year-old as a “gift” to the Gunners.
The centre-back believes both his own and compatriot Lukas Podolski’s positive experiences in London may have played a part in persuading Ozil to join Arsene Wenger’s men.
“We spoke on international duty of course,” he told DFB.de.
“We discussed our respective experiences – what the coach is like, what the city is like, what the team-mates are like. He only heard good things about Arsenal and London from me.
“Mesut also knew that both Lukas [Podolski] and I feel very at home there. I think that was in the back of his mind and might have played a role in his decision.
“I think Arsenal can be proud that a player like Mesut has chosen the club. Arsene Wenger spoke briefly to me about Mesut but he did not really need my opinion. He has followed Mesut’s career for a long time and always been an admirer of his. For us, the transfer is a gift.
“It was a gift for me to come here, and the same goes for Lukas. Why would it be any different for Mesut?”
The 28-year-old has captained the side in the Gunners’ five competitive fixtures this season, due to the absences of Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta, and is not taking the trust shown in him by Arsene Wenger lightly.
“You must be honest and say that I’m only the third choice for this task. But yes, I’m currently leading the team as captain on the pitch and it’s a big honour,” he added.
“I think this is a mark of the coach’s recognition and I believe that many see that I use my experience for Arsenal. I have been a professional for 10 years, nine in the national team, so I’ve experienced a lot, been through a lot of situations. And if this is recognised in the captaincy, then I’m pleased.”