KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Finally, and officially, Mesut Ozil has left Arsenal. The 32-year-old midfielder, in another of his famous open letters, told Arsenal fans that he will be a “Gunner for life” after heading to Fenerbahce on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Ozil won three FA Cups with Arsenal but has not played for the first team since March.

He said: “It is difficult for me to put into words the love I feel for the 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.

“Arsenal is a club of class and prestige, something that I felt every time I walked on to the pitch. Players, staff and management always come and go – but the club’s values and fans will remain forever.

“The principles of class, respect and dignity must never be forgotten. It is the responsibility of every single person from the club to make sure they carry out their job in the name of these values.”

The legacy of Ozil’s seven and half years at Arsenal is mixed. Arsene Wenger brought Ozil to north London and his early years justified the club record £42m fee. Arsenal had not won a trophy since 2005 but Ozil helped them win the FA Cup in 2014, 201 and 2017 along with Germany’s World Cup success in 2014.

Wenger grew frustrated that Ozil did not score more goals to add to all the goals he created. Managerial successors Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta failed to solve the conundrum and had none of Wenger’s patience. Hence Ozil has not played for Arsenal since the first UK lockdown last March.

Ozil scored 44 goals with 77 assists in 254 matches for Arsenal in all competitions, for which he was paid a remarkable £85.5m in wages. But at £350,000-a-week Ozil was a luxury the club could not afford to keep – particularly in the Covid crisis. For nine months, until now, the player refused to consider a move as his contract neared a summer expiry. Possibly he always hoped that Arteta would be forced to find a role for him. He hoped in vain.

Considering his ability, history will probably conclude that Arsenal and Ozil were equally at fault for the waste of so much talent. A sad waste for both club and player.