Ozil is the new face of Arsenal

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The biggest winners in the UK transfer window could have been the north London banks. While Tottenham were trousering a world record £86 million for the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, a few miles away Arsenal were giving the Spanish club £42.5 million of it back for German midfielder Mesut Ozil.

It was an eye-watering sum for the traditionally parsimonious Arsenal to spend. Manager Arsene Wenger had promised that Arsenal were ready to spend big this season and came through on the pledge with a few hours to spare.

Ozil, the ethereal midfielder with a passing resemblance to classic movie star Peter Lorre, is a perfect fit for a club that, in recent years, has prized technique and vision above robustness. "We are extremely pleased to have signed Mesut Ozil," Wenger said. "He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player."

Ozil came to international attention with his brilliant performances for the German national team in the 2010 World Cup. Wenger tried to sign him that summer, but he went to Real instead. Injuries, and Jose Mourinho's occasional preference for a less intricate style of play, meant he didn't prosper as many expected at Real. Ozil had expressed a preference for staying at the Bernabeu, but it was apparent that the Spanish club needed to recoup some of the Bale outlay as quickly as possible.

Arsenal's coup overshadowed the struggles of Manchester United. David Moyes managed to secure Marouane Fellaini from Everton but his other deals foundered. United also had to pay a premium price for Fellaini because of the clumsy way they had conducted the deal.

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