Thursday, June 27, 2019

What is going on with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Feb 2019

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When Mesut Ozil joined Arsenal in 2013 from Real Madrid for a then club-record fee of £42.5million, the signing was seen as something of a coup by the team from north London. The German was a fans favourite at the Bernabeu and dubbed ‘Europe’s assist king’

Ozil was a marquee signing, the kind that Arsenal fans had craved. Five and a half years later and the Germany international cannot even get in the Gunners squad.

The 30-year-old was omitted from the Arsenal squad for their surprise 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday night. It is not the first time Ozil has been left out of the Arsenal squad of late, despite being fully fit to play.

Ozil is not an Unai Emery player

Some fans and pundits because of his languid style of play have labelled Mesut Ozil lazy in the past. However, Ozil covers lots of ground according to some stats. Those stats mean nothing if the player is not making runs in the right areas of the pitch.

Ozil can at times disappear from games, he can be running around a lot, but he may not be near the ball. Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants his attacking players to do defensive work and trackback.

There was always going to be trouble for Ozil when Emery’s was appointed as Gunners boss, as I do not think the phrase tracking back is in the German’s vocabulary. He is unlikely to change at such a late stage in his career, so has found himself out of favour in north London. In fact, he has barely featured for the Gunners in 2019.

However, Ozil missing games for Arsenal is nothing new, as he has now missed an incredible 100 out of a possible 313 games since his arrival in north London in 2013. For a marquee player, he has missed an awful lot of games.

Ozil has undoubted talent

The sad thing is that Mesut Ozil has undoubted talent. When he is on his game, the German playmaker can be a joy to match, as he has flair and tremendous vision. His attributes were on display on a regular basis at former club Real Madrid, where he thrived, especially under a certain Jose Mourinho.

Ozil has shown his ability in flashes for the Gunners, but he could hardly say he has produced much consistency. Maybe he has not hit top form at Arsenal due to the players around him not being of the same level of his teammates in Madrid.

However, a player of his natural ability should be able to rise above his teammate’s weaknesses to help the team to success. He is a luxury player, who needs good man-management to produce his top form, though. It seems Emery is not the man to get the best out of the German star.

Looks to have no future at Arsenal

It now seems that Mesut Ozil has no future at Arsenal under Unai Emery. The Spanish boss is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon, as his remit was to challenge for a top-four spot this season, something the Gunners are doing.

It would be a shame for Arsenal to lose such a naturally gifted footballer. However, it seems that is the way it is going. Ozil was linked with a January move to Italian giants Inter and also a move to the land of his heritage Turkey.

The aforementioned Nerazzurri are current favourites to sign Ozil at odds of 10/1 in the summer. The likes of Bayern Munich and Dortmund in his homeland are also high in the betting.

Ozil can be a special player, but Emery’s rush to get the highest earner at the club out of the door is understandable. For one reason or another Ozil is never going to fit Emery’s criteria as a player.

The Spaniard knows that Ozil is poor value for his reported £350,000 per-week salary, so selling him would make financial sense. A move would also make sense for the player at least in football terms, but would maybe not be financially beneficial for the German.

However, if Ozil has any wish to revive his career, then he must move on in the summer or he will just end up being unwanted baggage at Arsenal, rather than the star player he should be.

Will Arsenal sell Mesut Ozil this summer?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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