It was one of the worst kept secrets in football but Mesut Ozil has finally left Arsenal to join Fenerbahce.
The playmaker flew to Turkey last week to complete the move after reaching an agreement with the Gunners to leave six months before the end of his contract.
The move was confirmed by Arsenal on Sunday along with a statement from Ozil on the club’s website.
But there was no mention of current boss Mikel Arteta.
Ozil said: “I’d like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years. The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.
“Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime. The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart.
“I’d like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong.”
Mikel Arteta did thank him for his time at Arsenal despite their apparent frosty relationship that saw him left out of their Premier League and Europa League squads this season.
He said: “Mesut’s achievements at Arsenal are undisputed. It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him. His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt.
“Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins. These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce.”
Ozil also posted a separate statement on his social media pages thanking the fans as his seven-and-a-half year stay at the north London club came to an end.
He mentioned Arsene Wenger, who brought him to the club in 2013, but there was still no mention of Arteta or his predecessor Unai Emery.
Ozil also spoke about his pride at winning silverware for the club and how he will be a ‘Gunner for life’.
He wrote: ”I will always be grateful for the trust placed in me by Arsene Wenger in September 2013. I’ve grown up as an adult in North London, a place I’ll always call home. I’ll never forget that.
“It’s difficult for me to put into words the love I feel for this club and the fans. How could I possibly describe eight years of gratitude in a single letter? I will be a Gunner for life – no doubt about that.”
He added: ”As I said, the past few months haven’t been the easiest. Like every player, I want to play every minute of football for my team. In life, however, things don’t always play out how we want or expect them to.
“But it is important to look for the positives in life and not negatives, which is why I try to live life with no regrets and holding no grudges. Being at Arsenal was more than just football, it was about community.”