London (AFP) – German playmaker Mesut Ozil ended speculation over his future at Arsenal by agreeing a new three-year deal with the Premier League giants on Thursday.
“3 more years with @Arsenal! It’s been one of the most important decisions of my footballing career and that’s why I had to think hard and talk with everyone who’s important to me,” Ozil, 29, posted on his Instagram account.
“Good things take time! In the end I let my heart decide. As I always said, I feel at home here and I’m highly motivated to achieve big things in the next few years.”
Ozil’s previous deal had just six months left to run and his decision to stay caps a momentous few days for the Gunners following the capture of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a club record fee.
Aubameyang and Ozil will be joined by Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a new-look frontline after the Armenian joined as part of a swap deal that saw the wantaway Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United last month.
“We’re delighted to announce that Mesut Ozil has signed a new long-term contract with us,” Arsenal said in a statement.
“Mesut has won the FA Cup three times since joining us in 2013, making 182 appearances, scoring 36 goals and racking up 61 assists.”
Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for a then club record £42.4 million in 2013.
However, some sparkling displays have been overshadowed by criticism of Ozil’s ability to swing big games in Arsenal’s favour over the past five years as the Gunners have failed to challenge for the Premier League and missed out on the Champions League for the first time in 20 years last season.
A return to Champions League football next season also looks increasingly dependant on winning the Europa League with Arsenal sitting sixth in the Premier League and eight points off the top four.
Arsene Wenger’s men face Swedish side Ostersunds in the last 32 of the Europa League later this month.