What Happened to Ozil?

March 23, 2024

What Happened to ozil

A mercurial talent with an artistic touch, ozil had a way of turning the most mundane into something utterly extraordinary. At times he was the embodiment of wafting mavericks of a bygone era. At other times, he was a frustrating enigma. He became the biggest polarising figure in a club that was evolving dramatically behind the scenes and Ozil's once-heralded contract morphed into a crippling burden for a squad in need of major repairs.

There were signs that his relationship with Arsenal had become strained even before the attack, particularly when he defended a Muslim colleague who was attacked in the street and when he spoke out about Recep Tayyip Erdogan's oppressive policies, causing him to lose his place in the national team. But the breakdown began in earnest last season, after he was left out of the squad for two matches because he refused to adhere to Arteta's 'non-negotiables' and struggled to replicate his creative output in a system that wasn't completely tailored to his talents.

In the end, ozil decided to walk away and was released by the club with six months to go on his contract. He waived some of the remaining money owed to him and said his goodbyes at London Colney before boarding a private jet to Istanbul to join Fenerbahce for an undisclosed fee. He will be joined by compatriots Xabi Alonso and Ilkay Gundogan, as well as midfielders Hakan Calhanoglu and Adem Ljajic, who have all signed for the Turkish Super Lig side this winter.

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