Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic believes Arsenal have regained their status as one of Europe's elite clubs following the £42m signing of Mesut Özil, according to The London Evening Standard.
The 25-year-old joined the Gunners for a club-record fee last summer after three seasons with Real Madrid and the Dortmund defender believes the big money deal was necessary, albeit unexpected.
“It was definitely something I didn’t expect or saw coming. In the past years, from what I could tell, Arsenal were more likely to sell a player for £40million instead of buying one," Subotic said.
“This is a step forward for them, they have grown and are now buying the kind of players they had to sell a few years ago. In the last few years, the best players are increasing in value. Everyone is trying to make a statement and Arsenal have done that."
The Serbia international faced the former Madrid man a number of times in the Champions League last season, and although he worships the German's supreme ability, he admits he is surprised how quickly the midfielder has adjusted to life in the Premier League.
“Sometimes it can take six months or even a year to get accustomed to the League but, within a few games, Özil already has a lot of assists and goals."
The Germany international has already notched three goals and four assists in seven appearances across all competitions this season, leaving Subotic to wonder why the La Liga giants chose to move on one of the best players in the world.
“I was surprised Real Madrid sold him. He played against us four times in the Champions League last season and scored in the last minute of one of the group games to tie the match."
“He’s just very talented. He has nearly perfect technique with his left foot, he knows where to pass the ball, to find the open man, the deadly pass. He has all the offensive qualities any coach would want."
The giant Dortmund defender will take on Özil and his flying Arsenal side in a Champions League tie at the Emirates tomorrow night.
Should the Gunners pull off an impressive victory against last season's finalists, the north London side will pull six points clear of Jurgen Klopp's side in Group F.
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