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Oct 14, 2013

Arsene Wenger felt pressure over Ozil

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he felt a "big responsibility" when he sanctioned the club record £42.4 million deal for Mesut Ozil, but he has hinted that he is ready to splash the cash again in the next transfer window.

Ozil was accompanied by Wenger to his first Arsenal press conference.
Arsene Wenger's belief in Mesut Ozil has been vindicated thus far.

Ozil has made an stunning impact in his first few weeks at Arsenal, with Wenger convinced his hefty investment in the 24-year-old will reap dividends for the club in the long-term.

• Mangan: Invincibles comparisons premature

"Of course, it’s a big responsibility to spend that amount of money, but I feel comfortable with it because we had the money to do it," Wenger told the club’s website.

"The transfer of Ozil was linked with a huge desire of everyone at the club to get it done, but at the same time it could have failed because we faced huge competition in the end from other clubs, so you have to accept that.

"The pressure for us on the transfer front was huge. People knew we had money to spend, and honestly, it wasn’t easy. I said many times I was ready to spend if it was for the right player, and if you look at our form over the past year, it would take a special talent to strengthen the team.

"Before we couldn’t have done it because we didn’t have the money available. It’s as simple as that. I had a huge sense of responsibility when we built the stadium to get the club through it without going bankrupt.

"The first years were difficult and also explained why we lost some players. Now we are in a more comfortable financial position. I -- more than anyone -- want the great players to play for Arsenal Football Club. If we have to spend the money to do that, I will spend the money."

When asked whether he would consider paying more club record fees to sign more world class players, Wenger was swift in his response. "If they are needed, then yes we will do it. If it’s just for marketing reasons, then no, but for football reasons, why not."

Wenger went on to suggest Ozil’s arrival should reassure supporters that both he and the club are intent of returning to trophy winning ways sooner rather than later.

"It’s a statement that we have brought in a world-class player," he added. "We have a game that is based on creativity and technical quality, and he can of course integrate into that game.

"It’s important as well that we show our ambition as a club with such a signing. In recent years we have lost players who we have educated, who we have formed, and we lost them when they became competitive. It was important that we turned that round and showed we are ambitious.

"We have shown great consistency lately, but this signing will reaffirm the ambition of our players and of our fans. It improves the confidence of everyone involved with Arsenal."

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