It's no coincidence that Arsenal's fortunes have changed since Mesut Ozil's arrival in 2013.
Since then, the Gunners have won back-to-back FA Cups and finished second in the Premier League (last season) for the first time since 2005.
Spending £42.5 million on the Germany international has proved a masterstroke by Arsene Wenger, who was a big admirer of Ozil during his days at Werder Bremen and Real Madrid.
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So, when reports confirmed Gareth Bale had completed a world-record move to the Bernabeu, placing Ozil's future in doubt, Wenger was quick to pick up the phone.
The Frenchman would eventually sanction a sensational - yet completely unexpected - club-record deal on transfer deadline day.
However, according to Ozil, he and Wenger had already discussed the prospect of him joining Arsenal earlier that summer.
In an interview with the club's YouTube channel (see below at 8:40), he explained how he told Wenger that Arsenal would be his first choice if he ever had the chance to leave Real.
"I spoke with [Arsene] Wenger and he wanted me at Arsenal," Ozil said.
"I said: 'If I get the opportunity to change clubs, you'll be the first address for me'.
"So what I did after that, we spoke and I decided to come to Arsenal because I remember Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires, such good footballers and I wanted to be a part of that, to come to Arsenal to be successful."
And on his first couple of years in north London, Ozil added: "It was good, my first and second year we won the FA Cup. I really enjoy playing for such a big club like Arsenal."
The next step for Ozil at Arsenal is winning the Premier League, which many believe is what the German needs to cement his status as a club legend.
Not since 2004 have the Gunners lifted the trophy, but signs suggest they're on course for a strong challenge this season.
Unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions and fourth in the Premier League, Arsenal are in fine form and look well equipped to keep up with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, who occupy first to third respectively.
Wenger certainly hopes Ozil - whose contract expires in 2018 - will commit his long-term future at Arsenal and help achieve more success.
"Dennis Bergkamp committed for a long period and played until he was 38," he said. "To become a legend at the club you need to stay for a long time.
"If you stay two years, you would not be a legend. I wish we have 10 more years of Ozil. I don't think he needs convincing [to stay]. He wants to stay here."
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