Mikel Arteta insists Mesut Ozil's legacy at Arsenal will not be tarnished by the underwhelming – and often bitter – nature of his exit.
Ozil, 32, is poised to leave the Gunners and join Fenerbahce within a matter of days, ending the midfielder's seven-and-a-half year stay in north London.
The German has not played for Arsenal since March 2020 and his frosty relationship with Arteta means he has spent the current season appearing to aim subtle digs at the manager who exiled him.
Nonetheless, Arteta claims Ozil – who won three FA Cups and made over 250 Arsenal appearances – will be remembered fondly.
“What Mesut has done at the football club is unquestionable and that will stay,” said the Spaniard. “It doesn’t matter if he plays two more games, 10 more games or none.
“I think what he has done is there for the records, the history of the club and his contribution, nobody can discuss that.”
Ozil's imminent departure comes as Arteta aims to trim his squad for the second half of the season, with William Saliba already leaving on loan to Ligue 1 club Nice.
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Sead Kolasinac has also departed on loan for Bundesliga side Schalke 04, but Arteta admits transfer dealings have been made even more difficult by the current coronavirus circumstances.
He added: “At the moment, the market is really complicated. The situation around every club is not easy and to get the negotiations going as well is harder because you cannot be face to face.
“You cannot travel to another country and make a deal happen like that. Everything has to be through the phone or Zoom. It can go either way to be fair.
“I can tell you what I would like, which is on day one to have the squad like I want and the players out and in sorted, but I think it is really complicated right now.”
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