Arsenal

TT Battles: Mesut Ozil vs James Rodriguez

Arsenal fans have been left watching their side do the January transfer window on a budget this month. The Emirates won’t be a stadium welcoming anything other than loan signings until the summer, however, The Independent claims that Arsenal could still be looking to bring in James Rodriguez on a temporary deal until they can start spending.

If Arsenal were to bring in James Rodriguez, it could spell trouble for Mesut Ozil at the club, and considering that they’re both regarded as two of the best attacking midfielders in world football, the Gunners will have to be very careful over which one they choose. Unai Emery’s job could be riding on this, and in this battle, we’ll be comparing the two talented creators.

MESUT OZIL

Ozil has been a very strange figure since he made his move from the Bernabeu to The Emirates back in summer 2013. At times he’s shone and been the shining light in a very talented Arsenal side, however, he’s also gone through spells where he’s been a ghost and left both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery’s sides looking like they’re playing with ten men.

On his day, the German is a sublime operator and his success in the World Cup in 2014 showcased just that. At club level, though, things have been different for the German. Whilst in Madrid, the fans loved Ozil and his link up with the goalscoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo, but at Arsenal, and without a key figure to link with, Ozil has fallen short of expectation, scoring just 41 and assisting 73 in 212 appearances, numbers that fall well short of a £350,000 per week player.

TT GRADE: B

JAMES RODRIGUEZ

Much like Mesut Ozil, James Rodriguez also starred in the 2014 World Cup. The Colombian ended the tournament as one of the players to watch and he took home the Golden Boot for his troubles. However, since then his career has been a strange one. His big money move to Real Madrid hasn’t gone the way he would have hoped, and as he enters the last six months of a two-year loan at Bayern Munich, his future is uncertain.

If the 27-year-old Colombian was to move to Arsenal, he would provide a much more direct threat than Ozil currently does. Unai Emery has been repeatedly leaving Ozil out due to ‘tactical reasons’ and his work rate often comes into question. However, that would never ben an issue with Rodriguez, who has shown time and time again that he can bring the highest quality and also be a workhorse when his team need him to be.

TT GRADE: A

TT VERDICT:

Whilst Ozil has the Premier League experience and has been doing it for years if Unai Emery was to opt for a younger, more hard-working creator in James Rodriguez then he would be more readily able to fight for a spot in the top four. Having Rodriguez behind Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would also help to get the best from their goalscoring abilities.

No one is questioning Mesut Ozil’s abilities as a player, and when he’s at the top of his game he edges out Rodriguez. Without consistency, though, Ozil’s talents are wasted, so that’s why having someone who can do it on a more regular basis, and likely on lower wages, in Rodriguez would be a positive move for the club. For those reasons, James Rodriguez beats Mesut Ozil in this battle.

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