Arsenal fans must surely be pinching themselves this morning.
After an anxiety-ridden transfer window of angst and hand wringing, the club has emerged into a new dawn of football modernity.
All hail Mesut Ozil: the symbol of Arsenal’s complete and eventual metamorphosis, from First Division relic into Premier League hopeful.
When Arsene Wenger won his glut of trophies at Highbury, he may have revolutionised training techniques, but was still clinging to old school values and philosophies.
He found it hard to divest himself of his habits, even as Arsenal strived towards the future by building the Emirates Stadium- a shrine to big football.
Simply put, Wenger’s penny pinching drove Arsenal’s supporters nuts. There was money to spend, but free transfers and wheeling and dealing became the norm in the red and white half of North London.
But all that changed overnight, when Arsenal smashed their transfer record to sign Ozil from Real Madrid for just over £40million.
Some pundits have snidely suggested that the Gunners have paid over the odds for a Real Madrid reject.
But it’s worth noting that the last players forced out of the Bernabeu to fund the arrival of a new set of ‘Galacticos’- Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder- both went on to win the Champions League in Trebles, while Madrid pined for La Decima.
Make no mistake- Ozil is certainly good enough to play and star for Real Madrid. Their loss is Arsenal’s gain.
It is no surprise that the fans who gathered to witness Gareth Bale’s unveiling on Monday also chanted for Madrid not to sell Ozil.
His exit was frankly and simply a monetary one. As rich as Madrid are, they have just lavished a world record sum on a player who has never won a trophy at any level, and it was imperative that they recoup some of their investment.
And so just like Robben and Sneijder- who clearly had plenty to offer Madrid- Ozil has been forced to make way.
Some may see his move to Arsenal as a backward step, but the Gunners faithful will dismiss that notion.
Their team may have been in need of a ball winner in midfield and another top-class striker, but Ozil’s arrival will only make them stronger.
Perhaps Wenger has diagnosed his team’s inadequacies differently, and thinks that Ozil’s class, elegance, movement, youth, experience and eye for a decisive pass are what the Gunners have been lacking.
The German is the kind of player that makes his team-mates look better, and it has to be said, there are few Premier League attacking midfields that look better on paper than Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla do.
Time will tell if Real Madrid come to regret selling Mesut Ozil, but it is hardly likely that Arsenal will ever regret breaking the bank to buy him.