Having been at Arsenal for six years now, it seems that the time has come for the German star, Mezut Ozil, to finally depart from North London. The key to this decision is both the manager and his contract.
Starting with the manager, Unai Emery, the Spaniard took over from long-serving legend Arsene Wenger and has tried to stamp down his own philosophy on the Gunners. This change has seen a harder hitting take on players’ effort levels and eagerness to work for one another. Emery believes in his own managerial ability and has opted to leave Mezut Ozil out of the squad on a number of occasions, including games against the so-called top six. The German has become a bit-part player at the club, and with the wages that he’s on, the club cannot afford that to happen.
His contract is extraordinary. £350,000 a week for the former Real Madrid star. The wages per year that his sale would free up would be astronomical. This is something Arsenal need to look into as soon as possible. The replacement for a star like Ozil has to be one of quality and with a significant amount of wage to offer any potential new signings, it would mean that the North London side have a greater pull in the current transfer market. Replacements are out there, Donny Van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech stand out at Ajax, whilst players such as Hassim Aouar and Paulo Dybala could also be looking for a change.
Ozil is a luxury player. Taking nothing away from the World-Cup winner, his first couple of seasons at Arsenal were brilliant. His assist record was sensational and many Gunners saw it as a turning point for the club, as they were buying a player who had started regularly for giants Real Madrid. However, Arsenal never built on this. Sales of Robin Van Persie and Alexis Sanchez in the seasons after meant that the Gunners could never quite find the right quality to play alongside the German. Arsenal tickets once seemed hard to get, now the Emirates is half-empty during the mid-week games.
Now that the side has transformed, and with the new 3-4-3 system hitting the Emirates, it seems as though Ozil’s time at the Gunners should rightly come to an end. Although, Emery might regret it if he lets the German leave early in the transfer window. The high calibre player that Ozil represents makes him the type of midfielder that players will join Arsenal just to play with. In terms of that stance, Emery may need another big name to fulfill that world-wide power Ozil has.
Overall, his time at the club has unfortunately ran its course. His failure to affect the Europa League final proved the last straw for many of the Arsenal fans with tickets and left the club to be laughed at by London rivals Chelsea. It’s time for the club to put their foot down with lazy players such as Ozil and it has to start now allowing Emery some time to build his own squad and philosophy.