Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mesut Ozil: Europe’s assist king key to Arsenal’s Premier League title chase

Arsenal's key man this term / Image via

Arsenal’s key man this term / Image via

Twelve rounds into the new Premier League season and Arsenal are leading the pack together with Manchester City, level on points (26) with the Etihad outfit.

Their impressive league run has been publicly applauded much to the pleasing of Arsene Wenger who is picking the fruits of years’ labour this term.

Brought in 2013 and bought for the club’s record-breaking fee of £42.5 million, Germany international Mesut Ozil has finally lived up to the highest expectations and has been the key player for the North London club this season.

Often described as sluggish and unfit, the German has finally silenced his critics, having stepped up under the spotlight to lift his team to another level.

Europe’s best

The 27-year-old playmaker has provided 10 assists in 11 league games this season in the Premier League which is the highest tally in Europe’s top five leagues.

The 2014 World Cup winner is three assists in front of Bayern Munich dynamo Douglas Costa who has the second-best numbers across England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

What is more, the German genius has created more chances than any other player in Europe. Mesut Ozil has created 54 chances, seven more than West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, who will be sidelined for a lengthy period following his knee injury.

Arsenal player has also broken the record of consecutive Premier League assists, delivering in 6 games straight.

Learning from mistakes

The Gunners have had a couple of set-backs this season but have successfully managed to break the pattern.

The London-based club have only once this season lost back-to-back games and have exhibited great resilience to come back to their feet after tough defeats such as the Champions League 3-2 loss to Olympiakos at the Emirates and Bayern later on.

Arsene Wenger’s charges have been dealt with a major Champions League blow in Munich at the beginning of November, when the Bundesliga champions hammered the London club 5-1. Goals from Lewandowski, Alaba, Robben and a brace by Thomas Muller will have been pretty upsetting to Arsenal team.

The North London derby against Tottenham was the perfect opportunity for a swift comeback, but the Gunners were halted to a 1-1 draw against their biggest rivals.

However, Arsenal have so far this season defeated Manchester United, twice, and picked a win over Liverpool. What is more, Arsene Wenger got one back over Jose Mourinho with a 1-0 Community Shield victory and the fine results from Wenger’s team are seen as proof that Arsenal are more mature, seemingly ready to go all the way.

Team spirit and team play have so far been crucial, believes Mesut Ozil.

“We have learnt from our mistakes and you can see on the pitch that we’re steadier. We function well as a team”, Mesut Ozil told Arsenal’s official site.

Arsenal have always been portrayed as the technically strong side with their distinguished and most attractive style of play. At the same time, they have been displaying a chronic lack of strength and endurance, most notably in the games against direct rivals for the top spot in the Premier League.

In the second half of the last season and in this year so far, the Gunners have shown great signs of improvement however. The group is more compact and with Mesut Ozil on song, the fans’ reservations regarding the strength and depth of the current squad have been dispersed.


German’s fantastic exploits and huge contribution to the club’s cause haven’t been left unnoticed by the Arsenal management who are already paving the way for the new contract.

Mesut Ozil still has two-and-a-half years in his current deal with the Gunners, but Arsenal are keen on rewarding their star performer by handing him an improved long-term contract.

The German international is thus set to go down the same path as Theo Walcott and Santi Casorla who have recently signed new deals, as Arsene Wenger is doing his best to tie his key players and secure the future of his most prised possessions.

Arsenal have reportedly already opened the talks with Mesut Ozil and his representatives and are optimistic the new deal will be agreed in the near future.

German playmaker is already the highest paid footballer at the Emirates, 12th highest paid player in the world, so Wenger’s resolve and determination to break the bank in order to keep his stars is seen as drastic change in course from the French manager, who has been regarded as financially reserved in his transfer dealings over the past few years.

Ranked among the favourites for the PFA Player of the Year title, Mesut Ozil is enjoying the fantastic season and Arsene Wenger is ready to support him throughout the campaign which could bring the long awaited Premier League silverware to the Emirates and Arsenal faithful.

And lfting the Premier League trophy would, without a doubt, be the greatest reward for the German playmaker this season.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
More More