Football

Arsenal star insists leaving Real Madrid was a good move

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Arsenal’s club-record signing Mesut Ozil insists that he has no regrets about leaving Real Madrid last summer following a difficult debut season at the Emirates Stadium.

The Germany international has been strongly criticised in recent weeks for his substandard performances in several big matches, but the player insists he is unconcerned by newspaper headlines and believes his struggles can be put down to the fact he missed the Gunners’ pre-season.

“Nearly every player who is new to Premier League needs time to settle in,” Ozil told German magazine Sport Bild. “Here, you meet other challenges. It was clear that I would endure a difficult spell because I missed all of Arsenal’s pre-season preparation.

“There was a time when I was not satisfied with my performances either, but I have come through this phase.

“I don’t concern myself too much with [the criticism].

“Three weeks ago they wrote totally different stories and, in three weeks’ time, they’ll write different stories once again. That’s part of the business in England.”

However, it’s not just in England where Ozil’s below-par performances have been scrutinised.

Back in his native Germany, two national team legends spoke out earlier this week about Ozil’s suspect mentality ahead of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

However, Germany coach Joachim Low has included the 25-year-old playmaker in his squad for tonight’s international friendly against Chile.

Ozil, meanwhile, is adamant that his £42.4m move to Arsenal from Real Madrid was in his best interests.

“That was exactly the right step for my career,” he added.

Ozil was recently dropped by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for the Premier League clash against Sunderland after missing a crucial penalty in the Champions League last 16 first leg against Bayern Munich.

However, he returned to action in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke City, and will hope to help the Gunners end their nine-year silverware drought over the course of the next two months.

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