Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the signing of Mesut Ozil could turn out to be the most significant for the club since Dennis Bergkamp’s arrival in 1995.
Ozil has travelled with his Arsenal team-mates to Sunderland and is set to make his Premier League debut this Saturday. Despite rumours that he missed training on Friday due to illness, he was given the day off after international duty.
Bergkamp’s capture was the catalyst for a host of star names joining Arsenal in the years that followed and Wenger has hinted his success in signing a player perceived to be one of Europe’s leading lights could have a similar impact on the club’s image.
“This is comparable (to the Bergkamp signing) because they are similar players in the same department and they are big names who come from big teams,” Wenger told Arsenal's official website.
“You must say as well that Ozil was not perceived as being a failure at Real Madrid, he was perceived by the whole world as being a huge success at Real Madrid, so of course the noise made by a signature like that is big.
“They were questioning my desire to spend money, maybe the ambition as well because today the ambition is linked with the amount of money you spend. Well, now you can see we are very ambitious.
“We went through a few years where we had less resources and there is no shame to say that because we have built a new stadium. Now we are back with the ambition as big as everybody else, if not bigger.”
Meanwhile, Wenger has revealed he called-off a possible deadline day move for Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner and has challenged the Arsenal outsider to force his way back into the first team plans.
“I had a chat with him because I blocked his move,” added Wenger. “I wanted him to stay in the end because I felt that we were short up front, that Yaya Sanogo might need a few months to adapt.
“With the right state of mind and the right focus, Bendtner has the quality to help the squad to win things. He is an honest guy. We want complete commitment and focus from him and he promised that. Nicklas Bendtner, with complete focus and commitment, will be a very strong player in our squad.”