Arsenal outcast Mesut Özil completes move to Fenerbahçe
On January 17th 2021, Mesut Özil confirmed his move to Fenerbahçe SK from Arsenal FC. Despite missing 10 months of football, Özil claims that he is fit and excited to play for Fenerbahçe.
The German of Turkish origin travelled to Istanbul to complete his free transfer last Sunday after the Gunners terminated his £350,000 a week contract.
"I am a Fenerbahçe fan. That is why I am very happy to be coming to Turkey with Fenerbahçe," Ozil said.
"I'm very excited. God gave me the chance to wear this jersey as a Fenerbahçe fan. God willing, I will carry it with honour and do everything I can for the team," he added.
"Of course, I'm missing a few matches. I haven't played in a match in a while, but I am physically fit, I have no issues," said the playmaker.
Özil hasn't played for Arsenal since a 1-0 win over West Ham back in March 2020. Some say this is because he spoke out against China's oppression towards the indigenous Turkic-speaking Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, a region Uyghurs call East Turkestan.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta took responsibility saying Özil's exclusion from the squad was entirely a football-related decision. However, some Arsenal fans and supporters of the player think this is false. Many believe Özil's omission from the side was because his statement about the Uyghurs challenged the club's business interests in China.
Will Mesut Özil get back to his best at Fenerbahçe? I don't think so. His best years are long behind him. However, the Turkish Süper Lig is a relatively unchallenging and significantly easier league compared to the English Premier League. The player is clearly past his prime but could potentially improve Fenerbahçe's midfield and guide them to some titles.
Saying that, to have not even seen Özil on the Arsenal subs bench all season amid the Gunners' lacklustre performances on the pitch will forever leave questions in the heads of football fans as to the real reason why he was left out, and exactly how much influence international politics have on the beautiful game.
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