Mesut Ozil was born and raised in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. But since leaving his hometown club Schalke 04 in 2008, Ozil has lived in Bremen, Germany and Madrid, Spain, before making the deadline-day move to Arsenal in 2013.
Living in London the last five years, it’s the longest span he’s been with one club since being a professional, and it’s fair to say that Ozil now calls Arsenal home. That’s exactly what Arsenal manager Unai Emery wants to see.
“All of us want to help Mesut feel like it is his home here with us, like a family and it is a family for every player,” Emery said in a press conference in Singapore, where Arsenal are spending part of the club’s preseason. “He feels here with us that he can work every day, and it is good for us that he decided to come here and work with us before our two matches.”
These comments come on the back of last weekend’s announcement from Ozil that he won’t wear the Germany shirt again, seemingly as long as DFB president Reinhard Grindel remains in charge. Grindel, a right wing politician in the past, as well as other German executives and former high-profile players criticized Ozil’s heritage and blamed it as a big reason for Germany’s failure at the 2018 World Cup.
Of course, with Ozil’s detailed allagations, it’s clear he doesn’t feel at home in Germany, which is to Arsenal’s gain. Having a player of Ozil’s quality fully focused on the club season can only help the Gunners, which are looking to make a big impact in a new era under a new manager for the first time since 1998.
Ozil returned to Arsenal’s squad for preseason training on Monday, and perhaps with a club that supports him and the fact that he doesn’t need to sacrifice for his national team for the time being, Arsenal fans will finally see the best he has to offer.