Where's Best for Mesut Ozil?

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Where's Best for Mesut Ozil?

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been a topic of discussion ever since he moved to the Emirates Stadium back in 2013 from Real Madrid for £42.5m with many perceiving him as world class, whilst some pundits have labelled him overrated and even lazy, as well as questioning the commitment from the German to help his team out both on and off the pitch.

We take a look where is best for the five-time German Player of the Year and if he can still cut it at the top, if he's too good for Turkey, or, if he should cut his losses and move back to Germany.

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Can Ozil Still Compete for Titles at the top?

There is no doubt about Ozil’s natural ability on the football pitch, as in his three years at Real Madrid, he was the top assist maker in La Liga in each of these three seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, creating 54 goals in 105 appearances, whilst finding the back of the net 19 times.

This season, the 32-year-old was omitted from all of Arsenal’s squads, which is quite ironic, as Gunners manager Mikel Arteta cited it as being for “footballing reasons” when asked about the former German international’s absence.

Arsenal at present are the 14th top goalscorers in the division, having only scored 20 goals in 17 games due to a lack of creativity throughout their side, an area of which Ozil is a specialist in. This decision in many people’s eyes has significantly hampered Arteta’s side this season, as in 158 Premier League appearances, the German has scored 33 goals and assisted 58 times, meaning that Ozil averages a goal contribution in every two appearances.

Ozil can still compete at the highest level, but, considering his lack of first-team involvement since the end of the 2017/18 season, when he was rewarded his £350,000 per week contract at the Emirates, it is unlikely that many title-challenging clubs in Europe’s top five leagues will be too keen on signing the 32-year-old, especially if he was to refuse to take a significant wage cut.

The likes of Real and other top clubs around Europe might not take the risk on him, however, given how he may not cost too much in terms of the transfer fee, why not give this man a try again? After all, only Kevin De Bruyne has reach 50 assists quicker than the German, and given how he's been competing for titles whilst Ozil has been in the Europa League spots, this is quite some statistic.

At the same time, Ozil isn't exactly known for his physical attributes and losing his pace and agility, won't exactly derail his abilities with the ball at his feet too much. At the end of the day, if you want the ball on a six pence and a man to cut open any gap imaginable, he's your man, and he probably will be for a few more years.

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Is Turkey his Best Option?

According to various tabloid reports, the likes of Besiktas, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Istanbul Basaksehir have all been linked to moves for the Arsenal man.

Fenerbahce are the favourites to sign Ozil at the odds of 1/10, with recent reports suggesting that he has agreed on a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Istanbul based club. This would be a huge coup for the Turkish Super Lig side, as they currently sit fifth place in the league table, four points off leaders Besiktas with a game in hand.

This could be the opportunity that Ozil has been waiting for of late, as he could become a cult hero at Fenerbache, who have had it tough in recent seasons for their standards, finishing sixth place in 2018/19 and seventh last season.

A move to Turkey would also be convenient for Ozil, as Turkish is his first language due to him being a third-generation Turkish-German, this is coupled by the fact that he also married model Amine Gulse in 2019 whose work is predominantly based in Istanbul.

Performing in Turkey won't get him back on the radar of Jochim Low, but given how he packed in his international career a while back, this probably isn't much of a concern to him.

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A Return to Germany?

Ozil hasn’t played in the Bundesliga since leaving Werder Bremen for Real back in the summer of 2010, following an impressive final season at Bremen, which saw him contribute nine goals and 17 assists in 31 appearances in Germany’s top flight, as his side went on to finish third place in the league.

The attacking midfielder was born in Gelsenkirchen which is the region that Schalke play in. Ozil has admitted of late that he is still a huge fan of the club, having grown up in the area around the VELTINS Arena and has refused to rule out a return, despite them being bottom of the Bundesliga, having not won in nearly 12 months in the league.

Other clubs that have been given mentions whilst Ozil’s name has been circulated are the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund, as following the sale of Kai Havertz to Chelsea last summer, Leverkusen didn’t bring in a direct replacement and there have been many comparisons made between Ozil and the 21-year-old. But, former Hoffenheim man Nadiem Amiri has stepped up to the challenge of filling the void left by Havertz, as the 23-year-old has eight goal contributions in 13 Bundesliga games so far this season, including an incredible backheel goal against Frankfurt that went viral last weekend.

Peter Bosz’s side are also nurturing 17-year-old wonderkid Florian Wirtz who plays in the same role and has had a fantastic season so far, getting seven contributions in the same number of games as Amiri and is certainly one to watch for the future.

Dortmund alike Leverkusen have several players that can play in the same position as the 32-year-old and usually opt for youth who they can develop and sell for a large profit, such as Jadon Sancho. Germany international Julian Brandt tends to occupy the role that Ozil would look to take and hasn’t set the world alight this season, having only got one goal contribution in thirteen games so far, but is much more suited to Dortmund’s gegenpress system due to being a high energy player. A move for Ozil to Dortmund would most likely see him create a lot more goals than many in their midfield, but, he wouldn’t fit into their typical transfer philosophy or play style.

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