Mesut Özil: Zinedine Zidane is my idol

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Arsenal's record signing Mesut Özil believes the Premier League is the strongest league in the world and revealed how he used to idolise Zinedine Zidane as a boy.

The Gunners smashed their record transfer fee by paying Real Madrid £42.4million for the Germany international on transfer deadline day, a transfer that was met with delight by fans of the Emirates Stadium.

Özil was in Germany on international duty when he completed the deal, so the club have only just been able to put together some official photos and get a chance to record an interview with him.

Arsenal have now released the club's first interview with the 24-year-old and in it he revealed his belief that the Gunners operate in the best league in the world and his eagerness to show Premier League fans he as the quality to succeed there.

"I’m happy to be playing in the Premier League because everyone knows it’s the strongest league in the world.," he told the official Arsenal website.

"There are simply a lot of top teams. I want to prove myself there. It’s a new challenge for me, a new task. I’m looking forward to that. I want to improve further under the boss and in the team. I’m really excited about it."

Özil then revealed who it was he modelled his game on when a young player in his home town of Gelsenkirchen, in the west of Germany.

"I've said recently that my idol was Zinedine Zidane because for me, he was the perfect player," he added.

"He was good in the air. He was strong defensively and offensively. He was my idol. He had hardly any negative headlines including in his private life. He was a role model for me."

Özil may have expressed delight with his move to Arsenal, but in making the switch he has given up the opportunity to work with his idol Zidane, who is now part of the coaching staff at the Santiago Bernabeu.

He will get his first taste of Premier League football on September 14 when Arsene Wenger's team travel to the Stadium of Light for a clash with Sunderland.

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