Mesut Ozil has rubbished claims he will leave Arsenal in the January window, and indeed any of the following three windows by insisting he intends to remain in north London until the summer of 2021 ‘at least’.
Having become a bit-part player this season under Unai Emery, suggestions have surfaced that the mercurial German might be moved on in the coming winter window after making just one Premier League appearance so far this term.
It appeared as though the attacking midfielder would play a more prominent role for the Gunners this season after being named as one of Emery’s five captains in September. However, no such game time has materialised, despite the Spaniard chopping and changing his midfield throughout the season in a bid to find a suitable balance.
Nevertheless, Ozil was staunch in his response to claims he could leave the Emirates, insisting he will honour his contract.
“When I signed the new deal, I thought about it very carefully and said it was one of the most important decisions of my footballing career. I didn’t want to stay for just one or two more years, I wanted to commit my future to Arsenal and the club wanted me to do the same,” he told The Athletic.
“You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I’m not going to. I’m here until at least 2021.”
Signed by Arsene Wenger for a then-club record fee of £42.5m in 2013, the 31-year-old confessed the Frenchman was pivotal in his decision to leave Real Madrid, but that hasn’t stopped him from making London his ‘home’ – a place he doesn’t want to leave.
“I said that Arsene Wenger was a big factor in me joining Arsenal – and he was – but ultimately I signed for the club. Even when Arsene announced he was leaving, I wanted to stay because I love playing for Arsenal and that’s why I’ve been here for six years,” he added.
“More recently things have been difficult and a lot has changed. But I’m proud to be an Arsenal player, a fan and I’m happy here. Whenever people see me in the street I always say, ‘This is my home’. I’m going nowhere.”