What To Do With Mesut Ozil
A Luxury Arsenal Can't Afford?
The Inconsistent Talisman
When Mesut Ozil first transferred to Arsenal in September 2013 for £42.2m, they were acquiring one of the most technically gifted and majestically creative players on the continent. Fresh off creating a mighty 29 assists for Real Madrid, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo were supposedly incensed by the selling of their talisman and leading creator. For Arsenal, the excitement and anticipation surrounding the transfer has hardly come close to being replicated.
How is it then that six years on, Mesut Ozil is still one of the most divisive and debated players found anywhere in the world of football? The highest paid player in Arsenal's entire history, the whole wage structure of the club has been totally broken to incorporate the German, leading to lower and lower transfer funds available to strengthen in other areas.
To put it bluntly for a moment, when you structure a team around someone, you expect to see better numbers than what Mesut Ozil has been putting up in recent years. £350,000 is usually only dished out to special leaders on the pitch, not the flair player in the side that only performs in 50% of the games you play.
Ozil, right or wrong at times, has hoovered up a reputation for being a player that has a tendency to hide away in the biggest occasions, particularly away from home. He is not a player who can take the game by the scruff of the neck, start flying in with tackles and drag a team forward; at 30-31 years old, it's clear that the time to ask him to play like that has gone.
The general perception of Mesut Ozil is that when the team plays well, Mesut Ozil shines like a diamond. In every aspect of the word, Ozil is technically still Arsenal's best player. His vision is still second to none compared to anyone in the Arsenal team, his balance and composure is still something to be admired when its unleashed, and when you look at the recent departures of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsay, there's definitely room for a creative talisman in the squad.
However, there has been a trend in world football in recent years that has seen the influence of a 'number 10' like Ozil rapidly decrease. The two best teams in the country at the moment, Manchester City and Liverpool, have both abandoned their Ozil-like figures and even teams such as Barcelona or Manchester United no longer rely on a number 10 to be their star player.
Mesut Ozil's astronomical wages mean that he's going to be a nigh-on impossible man to shift at Arsenal. Only the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United could afford those kinds of wages and it is exceptionally unlikely that they're going to stretch themselves that thin for a 30/31 year old inconsistent gem.
It seems like the best course of action for Arsenal is to look to somewhere like Italy and pursue some kind of subsidised loan deal. Still a great player, Mesut Ozil clearly does not fit the mould of Unai Emery and has missed out on too many opportunities to win back his increasing amount of critics.