Arsenal legend: Mesut Özil way too expensive

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Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann believes the club paid far over the odds for their new record signing Mesut Özil and says the "crazy" Garth Bale deal is to blame.

Arsene Wenger sanctioned the smashing of the Gunners' previous transfer record with the £42.4million signing of the Germany international, but Lehmann believes they should never have paid so much.

However, he did concede the Arsenal manager did not have much choice as the current market made no sense and Lehmann believes this is largely down to the "crazy" antics for Real Madrid.

Los Blancos signed Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in a world record £86million deal, which was twice as much as Arsenal paid for Özil - something that Lehmann believes makes no sense.

"Certainly Mesut Ozil is much too expensive. But that's because (Gareth) Bale has gone for far too much money to Madrid. No one is worth that much," he told German newspaper Bild.

"I do not see a 50 million difference between the two. These are the mechanisms of the market, which are set by a crazy club like Real Madrid."

Lehmann spent five years with the Gunners and was number one for their legendary 'Invincibles' team, where they went the entire 2003/04 Premier League season without losing a game.

Özil will be hoping to emulate his compatriot at Emirates Stadium and has made a good start to his time there, providing three assists in only two Premier League matches and is quickly becoming a favourite of the Arsenal faithful.

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Jens Lehmann
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