Mesut Ozil is watching his first game as a Fenerbahce player from the stands on Monday as his new team face Kayserispor.
The German playmaker, who officially joined the Turkish giants on Sunday after more than seven years at Arsenal, is still working his way back to full fitness having not played a competitive game since the Gunners beat West Ham 1-0 on March 7, with Ozil supplying the winner in that game for Alexandre Lacazette with a cushioned header into the Frenchman’s path.
Ozil was frozen out of the first-team picture at the Emirates by Mikel Arteta this season, having been excluded from both the Premier League and Europa League squads.
Mesut Ozil watches on from the stands as his Fenerbahce team-mates take on Kayserispor
The 32-year-old last played on March 7 and set up the winner for Arsenal against West Ham
The former Real Madrid creator’s new team-mates include former Newcastle marksman Papiss Cisse, Aston Villa loanee Mbwana Samatta, ex-West Ham and Everton forward Enner Valencia and former Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo, while Queens Park Rangers winger Bright Osayi-Samuel will join in the summer.
Samatta, Valencia and Gustavo all started as one-time Inter Milan prospect Mame Thiam put Fener ahead after 20 minutes before Samatta doubled the hosts’ advantage six minutes after the break.
Ozil took part in his first training session at his new club on the same day he formally signed, having penned an emotional farewell message to the Arsenal faithful that they ‘will forever remain in my heart’.
Ozil made 254 appearances in all competitions for the north Londoners, scoring 44 times and producing 71 assists.
Nineteen of those assists came in the 2015/16 Premier League season, when he was out on his own in that category, setting up six more goals that campaign than the next best player, Christian Eriksen.
Only Kevin De Bruyne and Thierry Henry, both with 20 assists, have set up more goals in a single Premier League season than Ozil.
Ozil poses with a club scarf after his arrival in Istanbul before the deal was formally agreed
The German trained at Fener for the first time on Sunday as he looks to return to full fitness
The 32-year-old flew out to Turkey last weekend after Arsenal agreed to terminate his £350,000-per-week contract, which was due to expire in the summer.
However, he was then forced to undertake quarantine before his new three-and-a-half-year deal was finally sealed.