Mesut Özil says he is ‘proud’ to have gotten the chance to play under Arsene Wenger, who he claims was a key element in persuading him to join Arsenal.

The Germany international joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013 for £42.5million and has since gone on the win the FA Cup three times with the club, making over 150 appearances in the process.

With Arsenal confirming today that Wenger would leave the club at the end of the season, Özil told Sky Sports;

He’s the main reason I came here, he convinced me and I am proud to have played under him.

Everyone has a lot of respect for him. He has won many titles, developed some good players and has always played excellent football, so you know as a player if you come here you are going to be able to develop and play in that style.

He is an honest guy, a very respectful guy, has a good personality, and everybody wants to play under him.

Özil was once considered by José Mourinho to be “the best No.10 in world football”, but he has proven to be largely inconsistent at Arsenal, and his future was called into question before he signed a new deal earlier this year.

Özil claims that Wenger played a role in persuading him to extend his stay at the Emirates. He continued;

He is the boss who brought me here and wanted me to stay so I said I am comfortable here, I never wanted to leave and that’s why I stayed. Now we want to reach our further goals.

To be a creative player like I am, he gives me that freedom and tells me to do my thing. He gives me his trust and belief and when a coach says something like that, especially someone like him, you are proud and you want to do all you can to fight for him.