LONDON (Reuters) - Mesut Ozil said the trust shown in him by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was the key reason he joined the north London club from Real Madrid on the final day of the transfer window.
Arsenal smashed their transfer record to sign the Germany international for 42 million pounds ($66.42 million) and the playmaker was quick to insist it was not a step backwards despite widespread surprise that the Spanish giants agreed to let him go.
"The most important thing was (the manager's) plans for me and what he thinks about me," Ozil, who created 92 chances for his team mates at Real last season, told reporters at his first news conference since his switch.
Speaking in German through a translator, Ozil said Arsenal provided the perfect environment for him to improve.
"I had a good time at Madrid and had good moments there," he said. "You can see the reaction of the (Real) players and fans that they didn't understand (why I left) but this is football and you have to look ahead.
"I want to continue developing here and I feel that I'm at the right club. I know how successful Arsenal have been. I know the step here is the right one.
"Many young players came here and got better. I'm happy to play under a great coach. I have a new task here, we have big goals and will work very hard to reach those goals."
Ozil is in line for a Premier League debut at Sunderland on Saturday, especially as Wenger will be without Tomas Rosicky who was injured in midweek playing for the Czech Republic.
Wenger, who said the process of bringing Ozil to north London had been "complicated", said the 24-year-old would become one of the leaders in the team.
"He has a style of play that will integrate with our style of play because his game is based on movement and technical ability. He has all the attributes to be one of our leaders."
($1 = 0.6324 British pounds)
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Alan Baldwin)