The ex-Gunners forward is “delighted” that his old Gunners team-mate will soon be joining him the Turkish Super Lig
Lucas Podolski says he is happy to see Mesut Ozil leave Arsenal and start playing football again after almost a year on the sidelines at Emirates Stadium.
Goal has reported that Ozil is on the verge of joining Fenerbahce on a free transfer after reaching an agreement with Arsenal over the termination of his current contract, which was originally due to expire in June.
The 32-year-old has already touched down in Istanbul ahead of his unveiling at the club he supported in his youth, with the curtain now set to come down on his seven-and-a-half-year career at Emirates Stadium.
Ozil has not featured in a competitive match since March, having been exiled from Mikel Arteta’s plans following their return to action post-lockdown.
Any glimmer of hope the ex-Germany international had of getting back into the Gunners starting XI was seemingly dashed when he was left out of the Spaniard’s Premier League and Europa League squads in October, much to Podolski’s frustration.
A man who played alongside his fellow countryman in north London between 2013 and 2015 slammed Arsenal for their treatment of the midfielder earlier this season.
“I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad, that’s absolutely not okay,” he said.
“He’s shown his class on the pitch, he’s never been negative towards his colleagues or the club. Arsenal as a club have not looked positive in this situation over the last months.”
Podolski, who now plies his trade in Turkey with Antalyaspor, has now expressed his relief after seeing Ozil finally secure a move away from Emirates Stadium while predicting that he will be a great “asset” to the Super Lig after so many years playing at the very highest level of European football.
“I am delighted that Mesut will play for us in Turkey in the future. He is an asset to the league and at 32 years of age is still in his prime footballing age,” the former Arsenal forward told Sport Bild. “It happens again and again in the Süper Lig that great player names are presented by the club bosses in order to satisfy the fans.”
Podolski is saddened by the acrimonious nature of Ozil’s departure, but is pleased that he will finally be able to get back to what he does best on the pitch after so many months on the sidelines with the Gunners.
“It was really a shame that it ended like this. No professional is satisfied if he is not allowed to play,” the striker, who formed part of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad alongside Ozil in 2014, added. “Now Mesut can finally do what we all love again: play football.”