Mesut Ozil is a "special talent" who has left a huge gap in Real Madrid's dressing room after his record breaking £42m transfer to Arsenal.
Ozil's stunned former team mates yesterday expressed their shock at the deal and also that Real Madrid allowed the German - rated by Jose Mourinho as the best No10 in the world - to leave the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said: "I am very unhappy after the exit of Ozil. For me, he was a friend and a companion. Mesut is a special footballer who generates and plays the beautiful side of the game.
"If it was up to me then he would never have left. But it was the choice of the club. But I am totally convinced he will be a star at Arsenal.
"He is the king of the assist. I know Santi Cazorla well and together they will be an enormous spectacle. But I will miss him."
That shows the level of respect and admiration for Ozil at Real Madrid but also puts into context Arsenal's delight in pulling off the second biggest deal in Premier League history as they have signed a genuine world class player.
Mirror Sport can reveal that Arsenal's stunning move into the big league was anything but a last minute panic deal and the first seeds of the Ozil deal were sewn three months ago.
And in another great irony, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, who was believed to be holding up the Gareth Bale deal to Real Madrid so the Spanish club would not sell players to Arsenal, was left high and dry during the North London derby.
While Levy was in the boardroom at the Emirates, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis was in Madrid brokering the deal on Sunday afternoon, transfer fixer Dick Law was in Germany for negotiations with Ozil's father and agent Mustafa as they enjoyed a win double over Spurs on and off the pitch.
Gazidis, who used to work in the MLS, has known Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez for more than ten years after striking up contacts when the Spanish club tried to market themselves in the US.
Right at the start of the summer, when it was clear that Bale's move may impact on whether Real Madrid would have to offload players, Arsenal made contact and asked to be kept informed on Ozil, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria.
But Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has always liked Ozil and tried to sign him three years ago before he moved to Real Madrid. Wenger has described him as his "dream player", small, technical and a player who enjoys being coached and is willing to learn.
Three weeks ago, Real Madrid put out soundings about all three and at first none wanted to leave the Bernabeu. But it was Wenger who made the crucial phone call on Saturday, talked Ozil through Arsenal's plans, ambitions and even where he would fit into the team.
Wenger, who is fluent in German, impressed Ozil with his message while Per Mertesacker also rang Ozil and by Saturday night Arsenal felt the deal was on.
Gazidis and Law flew out on Sunday morning, Ozil had bigger offers on the table from PSG, there was late interest from Manchester United, but was won round by Arsenal.
Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke was in constant contact by phone and was happy to give his full backing to a stunning £42m deal which has blown away English football.
They shook hands on the deal by Sunday night and completed by Monday morning after Arsenal's doctor Gary O'Driscoll flew out to oversee the medical.
Ozil, a third generation Turkish-German and practising Muslim, is described by the Arsenal officials who have met him as being humble, very keen to learn and it is that part of his character which made him particularly keen to work with Wenger.
Arsenal say his father and adviser Mustafa insisted upon the club, in their in-house interviews for the website, making it clear just how much he admired Wenger and wanted to work with him to develop as a player.
After months of criticism and ridicule over transfer policy, the major players have come up trumps. Wenger, Gazidis, Law and Kroenke were the keys to the deal which has shocked English football, lifted Arsenal and stunned Ozil's former Real Madrid team mates.
Real Madrid's former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa said: "I am a bit surprised, it's a shame and a big loss in the dressing room, for the human and footballing aspects.
"He said goodbye last weekend, but I thought it was a practical joke. He is different, there is nobody like him in the world. He makes the difference.
"The club have their reasons. But we look forward, we have great players. For the fans it will be hard, they were close to him. He is a phenomenon, everyone took to him very well. It is a transfer that is very hard."
Former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster said: "Arsenal is the perfect destination, Wenger is a great coach for him, my surprise is that anyone would allow a player of that quality to leave."