This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
In the summer of 2013, something sensational happened. Arsenal signed then Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil for £42.4m after the Spanish club had completed a deal for Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur (via BBC). Given the fact the German did help end the club’s trophy drought in winning the FA Cup and the fact no one in their team has created more chances than him since his arrival, suggesting the initial decision to bring him to England was a mistake is perhaps a touch too harsh.
However, fast forward six years and the player looks to be a total dud. The World Cup winner signed a new mega-money deal in February of 2018 which saw him earn £350,ooo per week, and it is a deal that he has simply failed to justify (via The Independent).
After signing the deal with the north London club, Ozil assisted just two goals in the Premier League and missed the last seven games of the 2017/2018 season through injury (via Transfermarkt).
His performance in the 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final was criticised by legend Martin Keown, who said the Germany international wasn’t fit to wear the shirt (BT Sport via Eurosport).
Things didn’t improve in Unai Emery’s first season as manager, where Ozil assisted just six goals in 35 games across all competitions. Numerous bad performances away from home showed that the 31-year-old simply wasn’t justifying his incredibly high wages, including Brighton away, where he was subbed off at half-time.
Out of his 24 appearances for the Gunners, Ozil only completed 90 minutes 10 times. In the remaining 14 fixtures, the midfielder was subbed off in, the side ended up losing seven, showing he wasn’t having impact enough his high wages demand.
Giving Ozil a £350,000 a week contract proved one of the worst decisions in the club’s recent history. He has failed to show that he is worth anything close to that amount, and is, therefore, looking like a total drain on resources as things stand. Indeed, the club aren’t thought to be able to shift him given his wages in North London and the fact he isn’t playing means the club just aren’t getting any sort of return on their investment.
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