Two years ago, Mesut Ozil was flying, as were Arsenal. He had provided at least one assist in seven consecutive games, and just before Christmas, he set up both goals as Arsenal beat Man City 2-1, in a game that should’ve turned the title race in our favour. Everyone knows that we fell away and Leicester somehow managed to win the most incredible title of all time. Ozil ended that season with 19 assists, the most since Thierry in 2003 and was one of only a handful of players that would feel they couldn’t have done much more. Fast forward to now, and Mesut Ozil, one of the best attacking midfielders in the world is going into his final 6 months of his contract. From next month, he will have most of Europe to choose from.
One now wonders why wasn’t he offered a new contract in the middle of the season that defined him as the best number 10 in the world. Why didn’t our manager/chief negotiator/CEO offer him more than he was on as a reward for the brilliance he had shown us that year? Why didn’t they go out in the summer of 2016 and say “he’s laid on chance after chance for Giroud/Walcott, lets buy an upgrade up front for him.” Good players want to play with good players, as has been seen in recent months with the Ozil, Alexis and Lacazette (bought a year too late) triangle up front.
He’s often been criticised for his style of play. But because you’re not running around the pitch like the lovechild of Lee Cattermole and a headless chicken, this doesn’t make you a bad player. You also are only a top, top player if you have played for Real Madrid and Arsenal, or are now linked with Bayern, Manchester United or Barcelona. It could be argued that while Sanchez has thrown a bit of a strop at having to stay, Mesut has gone in the opposite direction, by playing his football and once again showing the level of player Arsenal could lose.
A new contract could well still be signed. And as someone who is very much a Mesut Ozil disciple, I hope this is the case. However, if it isn’t, and Ozil chooses Barcelona, Bavaria or God forbid Manchester that Ozil chooses as his new home, Arsenal will only have themselves to blame. Again.
Up the Arsenal