Multiple Arsene Wenger signings have turned into idols at Arsenal. Yet Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas didn’t stroll through the Highbury gates with that status or as world mega-stars.
Wenger’s latest recruit nevertheless has. The Gunners signed Mesut Ozil from no less a power than Real Madrid, for a figure making him one of the most expensive footballers – and the most expensive German – in history.
And how the Arsenal fans have embraced their new No11 – as the above picture shows! It was of a flash mob who arranged to meet before the north Londoners’ game against Stoke City – one in which the 24-year-old playmaker had a hand in all his side’s goals in a 3-1 win.
Ozil since inspired Arsenal, who lost their curtain-raiser at home to Aston Villa in his absence, to a 2-1 win at Swansea City that moved them two points clear at the Premier League summit. If the early favourite for the PFA Player of the Year award helps the Gunners finish 2013/14 in that position, his rapidly established popularity could soar to incalculable levels.