Arsenal signed German midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on the last day of the summer transfer window Monday.
Ozil, 24, joined the team for 50 million euros ($66 million) — a transfer record for the English Premier League club.
“Mesut is a top quality footballer who will be a fantastic addition to our talented squad,’’ Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
Arsenal has benefited from the ripple effect of Madrid spending 100 million euros to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham.
Ozil’s signing easily outstrips Arsenal’s previous largest transfer - 15 million pounds (then $21.3 million) for Andrey Arshavin in 2009 - and the club hopes he will help to produce its first trophy since 2005.
While Aresenal waited until the final day, its north London rival Tottenham have been busy this summer — spending more than $150 million on seven players.
But after missing out on Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye, the Gunners have pulled off the big-name signing promised in June when they said there would be an “escalation in our financial firepower.’’
“Mr. Kroenke ... has always fully supported Arsene and the club in making significant investments to strengthen our squad and to bring in talented players who fit our style and ambitions,’’ chief executive Ivan Gazidis said.
English Premier league clubs spent a record $932 million in the summer transfer window.
Ozil’s career with Spain’s Real Madrid began in 2010 — he scored 27 goals in 159 appearances with the club. The midfielder ends his La Liga stint with 19 goals and 47 assists in 105 appearances.
Ozil took to Facebook and Twitter to express his appreciation for fans of his former team.
dear fans of real madrid,
thank you very much for three wonderful years with all of you. my time at real madrid was unique and special for me. sometimes things develop differently, than i would have expected them to a few days ago.
although I’m leaving real madrid I wish you and the team the very best for the future.
now I’m looking forward to my new club: THE GUNNERS!
Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, who also played on the German national team, is excited to line up alongside Ozil.
“Mesut and I are going to rock Arsenal,” Podolski told German newspaper Bild.
“It’s great that he’s coming - he’s a good friend and a brilliant footballer.
“He’s a great fit for us. We’re already playing great football; the only thing that was missing was the final punch, that element of surprise. That’s exactly what Mesut will give us.”