Wenger: 'Ozil's hunger must be absolutely enormous to play again'

Mesut Ozil’s ‘hunger must be absolutely enormous to play football again’, insists his former boss Arsene Wenger as Frenchman sympathises with ‘frustrated’ midfielder’s sorry end to Arsenal career ahead of joining Fenerbahce

  • Mesut Ozil is on the brink of completing a transfer to Turkish giants Fenerbahce
  • The 32-year-old has been frozen out of the Arsenal first-team picture all season
  • Ozil was signed by then-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in a £42.5m deal in 2013 

Fenerbahce-bound Mesut Ozil is chomping at the bit to play football again after being frozen out by Arsenal, insists Arsene Wenger.

Ozil is currently in Turkey ahead of completing a move to his boyhood club after agreeing in principle to terminate his £350,000-per-week Arsenal contract, which was due to expire in the summer, early.

The Germany World Cup winner has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta all campaign, with the Arsenal boss having made it clear that he is not in his plans. He was not registered in Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for this season and has not played for the club since March.

Mesut Ozil is in Turkey ahead of completing a transfer to his boyhood club Fenerbahce

He has been frozen out of the first-team picture at Arsenal and hasn’t played since March

Arsene Wenger believes Ozil’s ‘hunger must be absolutely [enormous] to play football again’

With the 32-year-old on the brink of signing for Fenerbahce it could mean his first competitive action could come nearly a year on. And legendary Gunners boss Wenger, who brought him to Arsenal in a club-record £42.5million deal from Real Madrid in 2013, believes his former playmaker can’t wait to grace a football pitch again.

‘I’m sure that he’s frustrated at not having played,’ he told beIN Sports. ‘His hunger must be absolutely [enormous] to play football again.

‘There are two things that are very important in the quality of your performance. First of all your basic fitness, you can get your basic fitness if you work well in training and if you practice well. Personally, at the moment I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in. The second part is competitive fitness and that is linked with the number of games you play. On that front, he has a handicap.

‘If his basic fitness in training is good, it will only take him three or four games to be at his best.’

Wenger signed Ozil at Arsenal in a club-record £42.5million transfer from Real Madrid in 2013

The pair enjoyed a great working relationship winning three FA Cups together – including 2017

Fenerbahce currently sit joint-top of the Turkish Super Lig, with Besiktas, as they bid to win their first top-flight title in seven years.

And Wenger believes the arrival of Ozil will only strengthen their cause.

‘Mesut is a guy who needs a warm environment and I believe he will find that more than anywhere else in Turkey. Overall, he can provide the balls that the strikers need to win football games. If they do that well, they have a good chance of winning the league,’ he continued.

‘Mesut is like if you imagine an orchestra in music. He’s a guy who plays the ball at the right time.

‘The timing of his pass is exceptional, but the creativity of his pass is as well. In every situation he confronts, he gives the right answer and that is genius.’

Fenerbahce are doing well this season as they chase a first Super Lig title in seven years

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