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Transfers

Arsenal's German signing Mesut Özil meets the press

Record signing Mesut Özil has given his first official press conference for Arsenal. The German midfielder, who signed on deadline day for 50 million euros ($66 million), says his new club can win the league.

"This is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Obviously we can play for the title," the most expensive German footballer of all time said at his unveiling Thursday after transferring to Arsenal from Real Madrid.

"I know the team, I know the talent we have here and I think every player wants to be successful," added Özil, who joins Germany teammates Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski at Arsenal.

"It will be difficult because this is the strongest league in the world," said Özil, speaking in German at the London club's grounds.

Özil, 24, was officially presented to the media after returning from duty with the German national team, which defeated the Faroe Islands Tuesday to all but assure itself World Cup qualification.

Özil is expected to make his English Premier League debut Saturday against Sunderland.

Leaving Madrid

Real Madrid let Özil go on the international transfer window's September 2 deadline after signing Welsh winger Gareth Bale from Tottenham for a world record 100 million euro fee.

"I had a really good time with Real Madrid and had good moments there," Özil said.

"You can see [from] the reaction of the [Real] players and fans that they didn't understand [why I left] but this is football and you have to look ahead."

Özil, who had more assists than any other player in Europe last season, said that the backing of Manager Arsene Wenger was a major reason he agreed to move to London.

"The most important thing was [the manager's] plans for me and what he thinks about me," he said.

Wenger called the process of bringing Özil to Arsenal after a summer of relatively few signings "complicated," but said the side's newest German would fit right into the squad.

"He has a style of play that will integrate with our style of play because his game is based on movement and technical ability," Wenger said. "He has all the attributes to be one of our leaders."

Arsenal the 'next step'

The Gelsenkirchen-born attacker with Turkish ancestry said joining Arsenal was the "next step" in his development as a player.

"I want to improve myself further and I'm looking forward to the style of play," he said. "Arsenal are well known for the strength of their technical game and their desire to play attacking football."

"I think I will fit perfectly into that," he added.

Özil emerged on the international stage after a breakout performance at the 2010 World Cup, becoming a key creative cog of a team that finished third after being eliminated 1-0 by eventual winners Spain in the semifinals.

His strong showing earned him a 15 million euro move from Werder Bremen to Real Madrid that summer, where he ended up making 105 appearances in a little over three seasons.

dr/ipj (AFP, Reuters, dpa, SID, AP)