Lukas Podolski has slammed his former club Arsenal over their handling of the Mesut Ozil transfer saga.
The ex-Gunners striker spent two years playing alongside Ozil at the Emirates from 2013-2015, during which time they also won the World Cup together with Germany.
Ozil is now set to end his recent nightmar at Arsenal to follow Podolski to Turkey, as the finer details of his Fenerbahce switch are ironed out.
And Podolski – who now plays for Super Lig side Antalyaspor – is disappointed at the way Ozil has been treated.
“I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad, that’s absolutely not okay,” Podolski said.
“He’s shown his class on the pitch, he’s never been negative towards his colleagues or the club. Arsenal as a club have not looked positive in this situation over the last months.”
Ozil has not featured in a match for Arsenal since March and has spent the whole of this season frozen out of the first-team picture.
Mikel Arteta did not even register the 32-year-old in his 25-man squad, effectively calling time on Ozil’s Arsenal career.
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New signings Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey have hit the ground running following their big money summer arrivals, and the new-look Gunners are going all out for a top four spot and Europa League glory this term.
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It looked as though the midfielder would be forced to sit on the sidelines for the remainder of the season until his contract expired, but Ozil has now managed to manufacture a move elsewhere by cutting short his Arsenal agreement.
Moving to Fenerbahce is a dream come true for Ozil, who supported the club as a boy, and Podolski feels his arrival will do wonders for Turkish football.
“I am delighted that Mesut will play for us in Turkey in the future. He is an asset to the league and at 32 years of age is still in his prime footballing age,” the former Arsenal forward told Sport Bild .
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“It happens again and again in the Süper Lig that great player names are presented by the club bosses in order to satisfy the fans.
“It was really a shame that it ended like this. No professional is satisfied if he is not allowed to play.
“Now Mesut can finally do what we all love again: play football.”