Position: Attacking Midfield
Squad no. 11
Height: 5ft 11
Interesting Fact: Özil used his 2014 World Cup winnings to pay for the surgery of 23 sick Brazilian children.
Mesut Özil is widely regarded as the best no.10 in world football. The 25-year-old boasts an arsenal of pinpoint accurate passing, delightfully intelligent runs and effective, intricate dribbling.
Signed from Real Madrid on the final day of the 2013 summer transfer window, Mesut has memorized the Arsenal faithful since his first game for the club. Although the playmaker’s main strength was said to have been his creativity at Real Madrid, his link-up play has improved dramatically at Arsenal and is now the main feature of the German’s game. Mesut very rarely – if ever – misplaces a pass when involved in one of Arsenal’s incredibly precise and intricate one-touch passing displays. His presence in the centre of our midfield allows us to pull off some of the most beautiful, complex and devastating attacks the Premier League has ever seen.
Although Mesut prefers playing behind the striker, Arsene Wenger has frequently deployed the star in wide positions in order to accommodate our other midfielders. When Özil finds himself starting out wide, he tends to drift inside when his side find themselves on the front foot. If his side are under pressure, Mesut uses his pace and quick feet to relieve his back four of pressure and speed away past the opposition defenders. Although the 25-year-old is still capable of quality performances in this position, many fans are of the opinion that Wenger should keep Özil central at all times, such is his effectiveness in the middle of the park.
However, it doesn’t matter where Mesut plays – he’ll always be a threat. Arsenal fans were dreaming of world-class signings for years. Özil has shown them every dream is possible.
How much will he play?
Mesut’s skill set and ability means he is guaranteed to start for Arsenal whenever he is available. Fatigue, injuries and squad rotation are the only things that could prevent him from featuring in a match.
The playmaker isn’t particularly injury prone. He managed to participate in over 50 games in each of his three full seasons for Real Madrid, and made 40 appearances for Arsenal last season despite picking up an injury midway through our campaign.
As long as he isn’t overplayed, Mesut should be able compete in the vast majority of Arsenal’s games this season.
How well will he do?
Mesut enjoyed a fine first season with Arsenal – contrary to what the media want you to believe – and he is expected to improve on his promising form in our 2014/15 campaign.
The Germany international will be crucial for us in our games against the top four, and his creativity and flair will be needed in abundance if we are to make good progress in the Champions League. Against the smaller teams, Özil will be expected to dominate and break down defences with his amazing vision and accurate through balls.
As long as he stays injury free, it is hard to see Mesut not being on numerous player of the year shortlists come the end of the season.
Ball Control: 9/10
Current Value: £40 million
Potential Value: £70 million
Overall Rating: 9.5/10