Arsene Wenger has said Mesut Ozil still possesses “genius” and will thrive in the “warm environment” of Fenerbahce.
The 32-year-old is in Istanbul finalising his move to the Turkish club after agreeing to terminate his Arsenal contract six months early.
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Ozil’s departure brings to an end a turbulent seven-and-a-half-year spell which began with Wenger bringing the midfielder to north London in September 2013.
Wenger left Arsenal in 2018 and Ozil endured difficult relationships with his successors Unai Emery, interim boss Freddie Ljungberg and current manager Mikel Arteta amid disagreements over his role in the team and off-field issues including his refusal to join the vast majority of the first-team squad in taking an initial 12.5% pay cut last year.
And Wenger told beIN SPORTS: “I’m sure that he’s frustrated at not having played. His hunger must be absolutely [enormous] to play football again.
“Mesut is a guy who needs a warm environment and I believe he will find that more than anywhere else in Turkey. Overall, he can provide the balls that the strikers need to win football games. If they do that well, they have a good chance of winning the league.
“Mesut is like if you imagine an orchestra in music. He’s a guy who plays the ball at the right time.
“The timing of his pass is exceptional, but the creativity of his pass is as well. In every situation he confronts, he gives the right answer and that is genius.”
Mesut Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013. Photo Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Ozil has not played a competitive game since March 7 after being frozen out of the first-team picture at Arsenal. However, Wenger said it will not take long for the Germany international to get up to speed if he has continued his conditioning behind the scenes.
“There are two things that are very important in the quality of your performance,” he said. “First of all your basic fitness, you can get your basic fitness if you work well in training and if you practice well. Personally, at the moment I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in.
“The second part is competitive fitness and that is linked with the number of games you play. On that front, he has a handicap
“If his basic fitness in training is good, it will only take him three or four games to be at his best.
“The quality that he has is vision in depth. He sees quickly, he decides quickly and he realises quickly what he sees. That is a quality you don’t find too often in our game.
“He certainly will be the biggest transfer of the January window because the world of football is a bit quiet.”
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