Champions League news

Juergen Klopp hails Arsenal

October 21, 2013
By Miguel Delaney

Juergen Klopp has lavished praise on Arsene Wenger and Mesut Ozil ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s trip to Arsenal in the Champions League.

Klopp denies Blues and City rejection
Flamini to miss Dortmund clash

Dortmund visit the Emirates Stadium seeking a victory that would draw his side level with Group F leaders Arsenal on six points.

Klopp described the match as a “joker-card game” and one he would pay to watch, and also revealed his happiness at Arsenal's recent development, while suggesting Real Madrid’s decision to sell Ozil may have been foolish.

“Yeah, I recognise what happened in the last month,” he told the prematch news conference on Monday. “I told my team today: Two to three months ago, everybody wanted Arsene to spend 80 million pounds, couldn't find the right player, then he took [Mathieu] Flamini for zero, good idea, and then he took Mesut for some money, and I think this team missed one player, and maybe this can be Mesut Ozil.”

On the Germany international, he added: "Technically perfect, fast, has developed drive to goal, very intelligent, can play in any team. I think he has everything -- you don't have to force him in training. Just natural. It works very well. That's why it was a great idea for Arsenal and not so great idea from the club that let him go.

“Now they [Arsenal] have some injuries and are pretty strong. One year ago nobody could imagine they could play good football, brilliant football, without [Santi] Cazorla; then he was injured, they played with [Aaron] Ramsey, [Jack] Wilshere out on the wings, [Tomas] Rosicky back in shape.

“[Olivier] Giroud I think is one of the best strikers. I read today Arsenal will have new strikers. Congratulations -- one of the best in his team. Maybe he needed one year. Great development."

When asked what he thought of Arsenal's 4-1 victory against Norwich at the weekend, Klopp described it as “Arsene Wenger football”.

“I like this,” he said. “When I watch as a football supporter, this is the most beautiful style of football you can watch. Now they are back in the race and we want to stop them. If I have to pay for a ticket, I think for tomorrow I will think about it.”

Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin, meanwhile, revealed that he was close to joining Arsenal three times in his career.

“It was very close,” he said. “Three times in my career I was almost at Arsenal. It never happened but that's normal in football.

“When I was 16, the first time. Second time I don’t remember. Last summer [I] spoke with Arsenal but at the end I signed with Liverpool so that’s it.”

Sahin’s brief loan spell at Anfield from Real Madrid proved disappointing, but he was positive about the club.

“It was a good time for me,” he said, “part of a great club like Liverpool with such great history, great players. The club took care of me and my family. I am full of respect for Liverpool.”

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