On his day, Mesut Ozil is one of the most talented creative midfielders in world football. The Germany star has the quality to unlock the toughest defences on the planet, developing a reputation for his quick thinking and intricate approach in the final third of the pitch. But to many Emirates Stadium regulars, Ozil is something of an enigma – he often looks lethargic, uninterested and his commitment to Arsenal has been questioned.
The Gunners forked out an estimated £42.4 million to acquire Ozil from Real Madrid back in September 2013 and he has been pivotal to Arsenal’s style of football. To put his impact and influence into perspective, Ozil has notched 24 goals and 50 assists in 142 Premier League games. The German has helped Arsene Wenger’s men to three FA Cup wins in recent times and most fans will want the club to offer him a contract extension.
Mesut Özil’s contribution for Arsenal per season:
2013/14: 7 goals, 13 assists
2014/15: 5 goals, 8 assists (injured for four months)
2015/16: 8 goals, 20 assists
2016/17: 12 goals, 13 assists
2017/18: 5 goals, 12 assists
— Mesut Özil (@WeAreOzil) May 13, 2018
With Wenger now out of the Emirates exit door, more change could be on the cards. A new manager could mean a complete shift in approach and Ozil may not be as suited. According to reports, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is Arsenal’s top target and Ozil may struggle to retain his spot in the starting line-up. He found himself in and out of the team for large parts of the 2017/18 campaign and ended with 26 Premier League appearances.
There is no substitution for work ethic and Ozil has been criticised for his lack of effort on the defensive side of the ball in years gone by. Arsenal have been found wanting in some fixtures this season, particularly away from home and Ozil has been something of a liability in a handful of those games. The Gunners were the only team in England’s top four flights without an away victory prior to their final day win at Huddersfield Town.
A decent number of Arsenal fans would like to see Ozil move this summer – and there is a legitimate chance of that happening despite the German’s contract lasting until 2021. If the Gunners star performs well at the World Cup this summer, a few of Europe’s biggest clubs could show an interest. Joachim Loew’s side won the tournament in 2014 and William Hill’s World Cup odds show the holders at 5/1 to secure another triumph.
Ozil was dropped for two of Germany’s World Cup qualifiers back in October but the Arsenal man is likely to regain his place this summer. He was a pivotal figure in Germany’s success four years ago and he can play an equally important role in the coming months. A sub-par effort in Russia may signal the end of his international career, though; it is time for Ozil to step up and prove his worth.
Mesut Ozil must do something to endear himself to the Arsenal faithful. Fans are still split on the German and whether he should stay or move on – the ball is now in Ozil’s court. The biggest way to impress supporters is by showing work ethic; endeavour and effort are two of the most important traits for supporters. Watch this space; a change in approach from Ozil himself could give his Gunners career a major lift.