Has there ever been an Arsenal player who has divided the club’s fan base as much as Mesut Ozil has?
The World Cup winner was seen as a sign of change at the Premier League outfit when Arsene Wenger spent £42.2 million on the then Real Madrid star (BBC Sport) and, on paper, seemed like a perfect fit for Arsenal, but six years later, and it hasn’t exactly gone to plan.
The 30-year-old playmaker has largely been underwhelming in his time in north London and new boss Unai Emery has been ruthless with the midfielder by dropping him for underperforming, and Ozil’s massive £350,000-a-week contract has led many to believe the Arsenal number 10 could be sold this summer to free up the wage bill.
And with reports from ESPN claiming that James Rodriguez will be available this summer after failing to impress at Bayern Munich on loan and the Colombian international being linked with a move to Arsenal before by the Daily Mail, Ozil could find himself surplus to requirements at the club should Emery make a move for the Real Madrid star.
Rodriguez, who is valued at £58.5 million on Transfermarkt, would no doubt be an improvement on Ozil should the former AS Monaco maestro make the move to north London. His flair and finesse on the ball is something the Gunners sorely need and unlike the German playmaker he could be replacing, the Colombian star likes to make his presence on the pitch known.
The club need to make a statement and while a move for the South American seems a bit above their level right now, Rodriguez needs a clever move for the sake of his career. The Ballon d’Or trajectory he was seemingly on prior to his move to the Spanish capital seems a long way off now and the ESPN report does say he’s keen on more game time.
In north London, he’d get that, and despite the club’s reportedly fairly small budget this summer, a loan move should be possible. Under contract with Madrid until 2021, perhaps a similar arrangement to the one that took him to Bavaria in the first place is a decent avenue for all parties.
Emery and Rodriguez together also sound like a dream pair, and if Arsenal are able to pull off a masterstroke and actually sign the 27-year-old, the Gunners will have a player who can replace Ozil in the team and leave the German having to look for a new team.
Arsenal fans, would Rodriguez be a good upgrade on Ozil? Let us know!
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