Mesut Ozil said he would bear “no grudges” after his Arsenal career went into the nosedive that led him to join Fenerbahce.
In a letter addressed to “Gunners”, Ozil recalled the “big mix of ups and downs” during his time with the Premier League club, whom he joined from Real Madrid in September 2013.
The midfielder’s long-trailed switch to the Turkish Super Lig was confirmed on Sunday.
Ozil detailed his “love” for Arsenal, his connection with the local community and his pride in seeing youngsters from the club’s Hale End academy reach the first team, and promised he would be “a Gunner for life”.
But the German World Cup winner also made reference to his recent time in the wilderness at Arsenal, after being left out of this season’s Premier League and Europa League squads by manager Mikel Arteta.
He said it was vital that the club’s “principles of class, respect and dignity must never be forgotten”, and explained that from his perspective recent times at Arsenal “haven’t been the easiest”.
“But it is important to look for the positives in life and not the negative, which is why I try to live with no regrets and holding no grudges,” Ozil added.
Ozil said that in a difficult season for Arsenal, who are sitting in mid-table in the Premier League and out of the FA Cup, everyone connected to the club “must all back the current squad and staff no matter the results”.