Mesut Özil reluctant to leave Arsenal despite offers from Saudi Arabia
Seven years ago today, Mesut Özil joined Arsenal
It started out so well. After years of tightening the pursestrings, Arsenal coughed up a £42.5 million fee for one of the best number 10s in world football. It was a statement of intent, a transformational signing who, for a few years, helped bring some glory back to the club and played a key role in ending their nine-year trophy drought in his first season.
Fast forward to 2020, as Özil prepares for his eighth season at the club, and he is a peripheral figure. A constant subject of criticism, a scapegoat, a drain on resources.
The truth behind why both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta have found it difficult to find a place for Özil in their team and have resorted to ostracising him completely from the group will always be somewhat unclear. But what is certain is that he is not in Arteta's plans moving forward and will not play a big part, if he plays at all, in Arsenal's 2020/21 season.
And yet, despite reported offers on the table, Özil does not have any intention of leaving the club.
According to reports, Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have offered the playmaker a contract that would see him earn £15 million a year.
Özil is reportedly on a higher wage at Arsenal, and wants to see out the rest of his contract before leaving for free next summer.
Despite the constant animosity between Özil, people at the club and sections of the fanbase, the player tweeted today: "Seven years ago I joined the Arsenal family and Mon. Wenger. And I would not hesitate to do it all over again."
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) September 1, 2020
Say what you want about Özil, he sticks to his guns.