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Ozil eyes title tilt in first Arsenal season

Record Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil said on Thursday that he believes the club can challenge for the English Premier League title this season.

sports Updated: Sep 12, 2013 21:03 IST

Record Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil said on Thursday that he believes the club can challenge for the English Premier League title this season.

Ozil arrived from Real Madrid for a reported fee of £42.4 million ($66 million, €50 million) on transfer deadline day in a deal that shattered the Gunners' transfer record.

Arsene Wenger's side have not won the league title since 2004 and last finished in the top two in 2005 but when asked if Arsenal could finish top next May, Ozil replied: "Of course."

"I know the team, I know that talent we have here and I think every player wants to be successful. It will be difficult because this is the strongest league in the world."

Ozil, 24, was officially presented to the media as an Arsenal player on Thursday and could make his debut at Sunderland on Saturday.

"I have watched a lot of Premier League games," he said. "It is very physical here but I am really glad to play in the best league in the world.

"I want to prove myself in England and I look forward to playing here. I know I will prove myself here."

Several Madrid players expressed surprise at Ozil's departure but he said it was the right time to move.

"You can see by the reaction of the fans and the players that they didn't understand the move, but this is football. You always have to look ahead and I have made the next step," he said.

"My time there was great, but that topic is over."

Arsenal manager Wenger says he believes the nimble, left-footed Ozil will quickly adapt to his side's approach to winning games.

"He has a style of play which can integrate with our style because we have a game which is based on movement, technical ability and creativity," said the Frenchman, who sat beside Ozil during his introductory news conference.

"He has all the attributes to be one of the leaders of our team."

Ozil's signature represented a huge coup for Wenger, who had faced mounting criticism from the club's fans over his reluctance to spend money on new players.

Wenger's contract is due to expire at the end of the season, but the 63-year-old, who is now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, says he is in no hurry to discuss an extension.

"We are in no hurry. We are in September and my contract finishes in June," he said.

"There is a long way to go. There is no need to plan (any talks).

"I have said many times I want to do well with this club and in the end I will sit down and think, 'How well have I done with the team I have had?' That has to be sufficient for me to decide yes or no.

"One of the main judgements you can have about a manager is how well he does with his team."

On Arsenal's transfer dealings, he added: "What is very important for us is to find world-class players. There are not plenty around.

"We had to go through some years when I signed a long-term contract where we had some restricted financial potential, and the target was to stay in the Champions League in this period.

"We managed to do it, and we are now in a strong position financially."

First Published: Sep 12, 2013 21:00 IST