Would Arsenal be better off without Mesut Ozil?
He could be on the move in January
Arsenal are ready to give up on convincing Mesut Ozil to sign a new contract and sell him in January, according to reports.
Ozil’s contract expires next summer, when he’ll be available on a free transfer. Rather than lose him for nothing, Arsenal are now understood to be willing to cash in while they still can. Inter Milan and Manchester United have both been linked with a move for the midfielder.
He may be one of the Gunners’ biggest stars, but there’s been debate over whether Arsenal are a better team without the Germany international recently.
The Coral News Team take a look at whether the former Real Madrid ace will be that much of a loss.
Good form without Ozil
He’s yet to score or register an assist this season. And Arsene Wenger’s side went on a run of six wins in seven without him in the starting line-up recently.
The only game that wasn’t won was a 0-0 draw away at Chelsea. Arsenal produced a disciplined display that arguably wouldn’t have been possible with Ozil in the side ahead of Danny Welbeck or Alex Iwobi.
He came back into the team for the final 30 minutes against Watford last weekend. He wasted a great chance to extend Arsenal’s lead and seal the win. Watford equalised almost immediately. The Hornets then went on to win. Ozil has been heavily criticised for his minimal impact on the game.
Everyone knows that the World Cup winner can provide exceptional quality in the final third. He’s provided more assists (42) and created more chances (407) than any other player in the Premier League since his arrival.
But there are a lot of things he doesn’t do. He doesn’t track back. He doesn’t score enough goals. His lack of physicality can be infuriating.
However, all of those flaws were obvious before he moved to North London. If Ozil plays, the rest of the side needs to compensate for his weaknesses. The problem is that Arsenal have rarely been set up in that way.
Ozil’s best form has coincided with Santi Cazorla’s presence in the side. The Spain international is better than anyone else in the squad at moving the ball forward into areas where Ozil can be most effective. Unfortunately, Cazorla is now 32 and he’s struggled with injuries in recent years.
The current first-choice midfield pairing of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey doesn’t really provide the solid platform Ozil needs to truly shine. Ramsey’s desire to get forward leaves Xhaka with too much room to cover and the whole side struggles.
It means that the playmaker’s time at the Emirates Stadium has been frustrating for the player and club. He hasn’t really developed in his four years there and the club haven’t pushed on to challenge for major titles again.
Wenger’s side would probably be more solid and fare better in the tough away games if Ozil moved on. But they have been guilty of failing to makhave the most of him during his time at the club.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing