Wenger: 'Ozil signing statement of intent'

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has declared that Mesut Ozil's arrival at the Emirates proves that the Gunners are ready to emerge as a strong contenders on all fronts after years of financial prudence.

The Gunners unveiled their £42.4million deadline-day capture earlier today, after the German international trained with his new team-mates at the club's London Colney training ground for the first time this morning.

Wenger has been largely criticised for failing to add quality to his squad in recent seasons, while a succession of key players including Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie have left the Emirates in search of silverware.

The Frenchman believes that Arsenal have proved they are now ready to be ambitious by competing to sign players at the peak of their powers, while insisting that Ozil is capable of improving further and establishing himself as a dominant force in the Premier League.

Wenger also shared that he tried to sign Ozil before he chose a move to Madrid in 2010, revealing his surprise that the Spanish giants were prepared to sell a player who has produced consistent performances during three seasons at the Bernabeu.

He told reporters: "When Mesut went to Real Madrid we were in touch then. I wanted to bring him to Arsenal but it didn't work then. Now the second time it worked. The first contact really helped I think.

"Honestly, I think [Mesut Ozil's signing] was linked with Gareth Bale's transfer. I don't know exactly what happened inside Madrid. Was it down to financial reasons? Maybe they had to let someone go, I was surprised.

"Ozil is at a good age, he is already a great player. There is room for him to become dominant and step up."

The 24-year-old is in contention to make his Arsenal debut against Sunderland this weekend, with Wenger poised to include the playmaker in his starting XI after Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky suffered an injury on international duty earlier this week.

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