At the end of October, rumours surfaced, suggesting Mesut Ozil is unhappy at Arsenal and is planning to leave the club in search of a new home. The rumours were further confirmed by his teammate Sead Kolasinac who stated Ozil is “a bit unhappy”, mostly due to his lack of playtime this season.
The German international arrived at Arsenal in September 2013, when the Gunners acquired him from Real Madrid for €47 million. Since arriving in England, Ozil soon emerged as one of the key men for the Gunners with his superb displays of skill. To date, he has accumulated 235 appearances for Arsenal, scored 43 goals and added 75 assists. That said, his playtime has drastically decreased throughout the years.
Once a key man and a regular in the starting XI appeared in only 26 EPL games in 2017/18 season, 26 in 2018/19 and only three games so far this season. Furthermore, he was not included in a single Europa League fixture for Arsenal. His lack of time understandably took a toll on his morale and overall satisfaction with the club and his future at Arsenal.
And it’s not only his lack of playtime but also Ozil’s run-ins with Unai Emery, that made the rumours of Ozil’s possible departure that more plausible. As the most recent reports suggest, Ozil is planning on leaving the English side to join Major League Soccer, which, is entirely possible, seeing how Zlatan Ibrahimovic is said to leave LA Galaxy, and Ozil could prove to be a suitable replacement for the Swede. That said, Ozil reportedly did not put in a transfer request to force the move, which suggests, he is still hoping there is a chance to resolve the issue another way. As the said reports state, the Arsenal’s number 10 insists to see out the rest of his £350,000-a-week contract at the Emirates, which will expire in 2021. That said, nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet.
Ozil remains one of the popular figures at Arsenal and one of the favourite players among the Gunner’s fans, who could be heard chanting Ozil’s names during Arsenal’s fixtures, and even displaying banners, urging Unai Emery to “stop freezing Ozil out”. Will Emery listen to the fans and re-launch Ozil’s career is anyone’s guess. But if Arsenal don’t start performing up to par with the expectations, we could see Emery being sacked, which in turn would mean Arsenal will get a new manager, who just might offer Ozil more time on the pitch.
In an interview with Sead Kolašinac, the Bosnian international revealed Ozil is a very driven player but is also very unhappy with the situation at the club due to the lack of minutes he spends on the pitch. He added, that despite Ozil’s frustration due to his lack of playtime, he does not show that in training, where he gives his all and more.
“He is doing everything he can. He is doing extra sessions to make sure he is at the level he needs to be,” said Kolasinac.
“Mesut is Mesut. He has got a lot of special qualities. For example, the opposing team might put two players on him rather than one – which creates a lot of space for others. That makes a real difference on the pitch and in the game.”
“Everyone knows the quality he has, we have seen it. He is one of the top players in Europe and I think he can achieve a lot and really help the team further when he’s back.”
As it’s obvious from his statements, Kolasinac has a lot of respect for Ozil, and it would be safe to say his teammates feel the same. That said, we can’t figure out what Emery’s plans are for the German midfielder, and why is he excluded from the team on so many occasions.
Touching the topic of Ozil’s lack of playtime was Manchester United’s legend Paul Scholes, who said Ozil is the profile of a player the Red Devils should be looking to bring into Old Trafford.
“I can’t understand that Ozil’s situation at Arsenal. I think he’s a player that can link a team together”, said Scholes
“I think he’s got great quality, he’s shown that in his career, he could be an answer short term, I don’t know. I think that would be up to him.”
His move to United, however, is very unlikely to happen, at least not until 2021, considering Ozil is determined to remain at Arsenal until his contract runs out. That said, a suitable offer could maybe persuade Ozil to switch sides.
The most recent reports also revealed Ozil has been left out from Arsenal’s fixture against Vitoria in Europa League, further raising questions what are Emery’s plans with German international and how his future at Arsenal will look like.