Mesut Ozil has quashed suggestions he will leave Arsenal this summer should Arsene Wenger stay on as manager. Reports emanating from Spain suggested the Germany international would consider a return to La Liga if Wenger remained in the Emirates Stadium hotseat, after yet another harrowing campaign in north London.
In the space of two weeks at the start of March, the Gunners crashed out both the FA Cup and Champions League, as well as dropping five points in to Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur in the league that seemingly killed off their chances of winning a long-elusive title. The run of results led to calls from sections of the support, as well as former striker Ian Wright, for Wenger to leave, a year before the end of his current contract.
Don Balon reported earlier this week that such was the clamour for Wenger to quit that Ozil was ready to abandon Arsenal should the Frenhcman stay on beyond the end of the campaign. Though a return to Real Madrid is understood to be unlikely with Florentino Perez still in the presidential hotseat, Sevilla, Valencia and Atletico Madrid are said to all be likely destinations.
However, Ozil has refuted the claims that he is set to leave the club and insists his commitment to Wenger has not wavered since moving to the Premier League in the summer of 2013. Writing on Twitter, Ozil said: "Have seen the media reports today. Arsène Wenger was a big reason for me joining Arsenal – this hasn't changed!"
The news will come as a relief to Arsenal fans, who would have good reason to fear an exodus of their big-name players after yet another campaign that looks destined to end without the Premier League title. The club are 11 points adrift of leaders Leicester City with eight games remaining.
Ozil has enjoyed a prolific season for Arsenal, making 18 goals and scoring five in the league. The World Cup winner is just two short of Thierry Henry's league record of 20 assists in a single season, but admits the feat will mean nothing if it does not lead to winning the title.
"I don't play the game to smash records," he said, according to The Evening Standard. "I know what I can do and I know that I'm one of the best assist makers in the world, but it's all about titles for me. If I have a great season but we don't win anything, what does it bring me?"