Wenger: Bale’s sale was catalyst for Ozil signing

Frank Dalleres
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ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger had cause to thank rivals Tottenham yesterday as he prepared to unleash record £42.5m signing Mesut Ozil on the Premier League tomorrow.

Wenger conceded Real Madrid probably only offloaded Germany playmaker Ozil because Tottenham finally agreed to sell Gareth Bale to the Spanish club.

“Honestly I think it was linked with the Bale transfer,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what happened inside the club in Madrid. Was it down to financial reasons? Was it down to the fact that when they bought Bale they had Isco and they had to let somebody go? I was surprised.”

Ozil, who looks likely to start when the Gunners visit Sunderland tomorrow afternoon, believes he can win trophies at Arsenal despite the club’s trophy drought stretching back to 2005.

“I am in the strongest league in the world and have to prove myself here to continue developing here. This is why I am at the right club,” he said. “I cannot promise to win trophies, but I can promise that as a team we will give our all to win trophies.”

The 26-year-old also hit back at what he sees as unfounded slurs on his professionalism emanating from Madrid since his departure.

“I don’t want to say anything bad about Madrid because I had three wonderful years there. I have great friends there,” he added.

“People who know me know how professional I am and I think [in] the past years, you can see how many games I played – 159 games [in three years].

“If you are not professional in your life, then I don’t think you can play that many games.”