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'Everyone at Arsenal respects Ozil' - Elneny opens up on German star's 'humble' nature

14:01 GMT+3 08/01/2020
Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2019-20
The Egyptian says the midfielder "surprised" everyone at the club with his humility and has always been able to keep his ego in check

Mohamed Elneny says he was taken aback by Mesut Ozil's "humble and respectful" nature when he joined Arsenal in 2016, having expected the German to have an "arrogant" streak after playing for Real Madrid.

Ozil won three major trophies during a three-year spell at Santiago Bernabeu before completing a move to Emirates Stadium in 2013.

The talented playmaker was widely revered as one of the best midfielders in the world at the time but his inconsistent performances have divided opinion among supporters over the years.

Ozil has racked up 246 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners, scoring 43 goals in total while also picking up three FA Cup winners' medals.

Unai Emery left Ozil out of his team throughout the first half of the 2019-20 season but he has worked his way back into the starting line-up since the Spaniard's departure.

Mikel Arteta has placed his faith in the former Germany international since taking over as manager, and he has rewarded his trust with a string of impressive performances.

Elneny admits that he had doubts about Ozil's character before he joined up with the Gunners but quickly learned that the 31-year-old is not the cocky individual he's often been painted as by the media.

"When Mesut joined from Real Madrid I thought he would be arrogant and full of himself after playing at such a big club," he told Turkish publication Sabah.

"However, he is so humble and respectful. He never saw himself above the club. There are footballers playing at far smaller clubs who have got a far bigger ego.

"Mesut surprised me and my team-mates at Arsenal, everyone has respect for him."

Elneny is currently taking in a season-long loan spell at Besiktas after falling down the pecking order at the Emirates over the last couple of years.

The 27-year-old went on to reveal that he enjoys a very close relationship with Ozil, who played a key role in helping him decide to join the Turkish giants.

"With Mesut, we are like brothers" Elneny added. "Before I moved to Turkey he was who I spoke to, he assisted me, I could ask him anything and asked about Besiktas, he advised me on my transfer."

Ozil will be back in Premier League action with Arsenal on Saturday, with a trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on the cards.