Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp on Monday claimed Mesut Ozil’s arrival at Arsenal could be the catalyst to finally end the Premier League club’s long trophy drought.
Ozil has played a key role in Arsenal’s rise to the top of the Premier League since his club record £42.4 million ($66 million, 50 million euros) transfer from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day last month.
Arsenal are unbeaten in eight matches since Ozil moved to north London and the Germany midfielder underlined his value with a double in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Norwich
Klopp, who guided his team to the Champions League final at Wembley last season, knows all about Ozil from his time in Germany with Werder Bremen and Schalke and will get a close-up look at the playmaker in Tuesday’s Group F clash at the Emirates Stadium.
But the Dortmund boss is already convinced Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made one of the signings of the season and he expects the Gunners to make a serious bid to end their run of eight years without silverware.
“This team missed one player and maybe it can be Mesut Ozil,” said Klopp.
“He is technically perfect, he is fast and has developed a drive to goal.
“He is very intelligent, can play in any team. He has everything, is a natural and it works very well.
“That is why it was a great idea from Arsenal and not so from the one team who let him go.
“One year ago no-one thought it was possible they could play brilliant football without (Santi) Cazorla, now they have some injuries and still look strong with (Aaron) Ramsey and (Jack) Wilshere, (Tomas) Rosicky is back in shape and (Olivier) Giroud, he is one of the best strikers.
“As a supporter this is one of the most beautiful types of football to watch, I like it.
“Who is strong enough to be champions in the Premier League is of course strong enough to go to the final of the Champions League.
“Now they are back in the race for titles and we want to stop them.”
Arsenal take on last season’s European runners-up in a double-header on matchday three and four which could well shape the outcome of Group F and Klopp admits Dortmund have no margin for error.
“They have more points (than us), are in first place in one of the strongest leagues in the world and they play at home, so will be favourites,” he said.
“We will have to play one of our best games ever because there is no other chance to be successful here.
“But I think these will be two close games and some of the small things will decide what will happen.
“We have to be prepared for these details and we will see, but if I had to pay for a ticket, then I think I would pick this one.”
Klopp was linked with the vacant managerial jobs at both Manchester City and Chelsea during the close-season, but ended up staying in Germany.
He remains focused on Dortmund and refused to be drawn when asked if he could still see his future in England.
“I am 46 and I want to work for a few more years, maybe in the future if somebody asks me to come to England, we will see,” he added.
“But for this moment there is no chance to think about it.”
@saintyacs / 228E7B5E