No player at Arsenal generates more conversation than Mesut Ozil. The German hasn’t always been consistent at Arsenal, but on his day there is nobody better. All of the managers that have had the pleasure of having the midfielder in their squad, however, have always had to decide whether his flair and creativity is worth losing out on the work ethic and consistency that another player may provide.
More often than not, Arsene Wenger decided that it was, yet Unai Emery has taken a slightly different approach. Emery has opted to exclude Ozil entirely on more than one occasion this season, and that’s generated a lot of discussion. Of course, Ozil is one of Europe’s best-paid players, and he’s one of the biggest names in the Premier League.
Certainly, Emery needs to make a decision on whether, long-term, Ozil is part of his plans or not. From the outside, it seems pretty clear, and though the boss may not like it, it’s tough to view the German as anything other than crucial to his long-term future at the Emirates.
After all, the impact that Ozil can have was made painfully clear over the weekend when Arsenal took on Burnley. It was, of course, Ozil that set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a remarkable pass that most other players wouldn’t have been able to see, let alone pull off, and that pass was what got Arsenal rolling for the rest of the game.
Beyond that, his link-up play, his technique and, more recently, his leadership have all played an important role for Arsenal, and it’s clear that at any moment, Ozil can produce something magical that could transform the team.
One thing is evident. Ozil is a gamechanger, and he can have a tremendous impact on individual games. Moreso, however, he can have a crucial impact over the course of the season, and for Emery, he simply must recognise his talents.
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