Fenerbahce-bound Ozil wasn’t given ‘fair opportunity’ in final year at Arsenal, says Wilshere
A former Gunners midfielder is glad that his old team-mate has “found happiness” again after a frustrating end to his career in north London
Fenerbahce-bound Mesut Ozil wasn’t given “fair opportunity” in his final year at Arsenal, according to Jack Wilshere.
Ozil is about to call time on his seven-and-a-half-year career at Emirates Stadium.
Goal has reported that Arsenal have agreed to terminate the 32-year-old’s contract six months early so that he can seal a free transfer to Fenerbahce.
The ex-Germany international has already touched down in Istanbul to thrash out the final terms of the deal and it is likely he will be officially unveiled at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium over the weekend.
Mikel Arteta left Ozil out of his Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of the season, which was the final straw for a player whose last appearance for Arsenal came way back in March.
He questioned the club’s loyalty in the wake of that decision, and Wilshere says he can relate to how his old team-mate must have felt after being frozen out.
The former Gunners playmaker, whose ten-year spell in north London was overshadowed by injuries, was asked after signing for Championship outfit Bournemouth on Friday if he had spoken to Ozil about his struggles, to which he responded: “No. I was friends with Mesut during my time at Arsenal and we had a really good relationship on and off the pitch, I thought.
“But no, I didn’t speak to him. I’m sure it was as difficult for him [to not be playing] as it was for me. It’s not nice to be in a position where you’re not given that opportunity – a fair opportunity – to try and challenge for a place in the team.
“Listen, people can have bad games and miss out on the team, but to not be given an opportunity is tough, and was tough, to take.
“So I’m happy that he has found happiness and hopefully he can go on to be successful in Turkey.”
Wilshere added on the legacy Ozil leaves behind at Emirates Stadium: “It’s a difficult one because I’m not at the club anymore and I’m like every other fan looking in.
Ozil’s Arsenal saga over as Fenerbahce awaits
“All I remember from him is what a joy it was to play with him. A top, top player. One of the best I played with.
“It’s a shame the way it went at Arsenal, but I’m sure a lot of the fans will remember him for his early days there when we had a really good team and we should have probably won a little bit more.
“But we won a couple of FA Cups and it was a pleasure to play with him.”
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