It looked like another transfer window where Arsene Wenger had failed to bring in any big name signings to the Emirates, something that the Arsenal fans were getting far too used to. The Frenchman rarely spends and the “Gooners” were getting inpatient with him, voicing their frustration on the opening day home defeat to Aston Villa holding signs saying “show us the money.” Something had to be done and with time running out on deadline day Wenger brought in Mesut Ozil for a fee of £42.5 million. Was this a statement of intent or purely just a panic buy?
Mesut Ozil burst onto our screens when he appeared in the 2010 World Cup with Germany. He shone in that tournament- nominated for the Golden Ball, and caught the eye of many of Europe’s top clubs. In the end it was Real Madrid who won the race for his signature. Again Ozil impressed in Spain finishing his first season top of the assists charts, and bagging six goals. The German seemed a steal at just 15 million Euros and continued where he left off in the 2011-12 season, being shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and again grabbing the most assists in that season as well as the next.
So the 25-year-old clearly has talent, but has he failed to show it in the early stages of his career in England?
I think that he has.Without a doubt, he is a quality player, but so far I would not say that Ozil has gone any way at all to justifying his hefty price tag. For me four goals in fifteen Premier League appearances is not good enough for an attacking player that cost over £40 million. Guilty – I’m not a season ticket holder at the Emirates, or for that matter an Arsenal fan, but every time I do watch them play on the TV, it seems to me that Ozil just drifts in and out of games, often letting his teammates grab the headlines.
You could argue that it might just be taking Ozil time to settle into his new surroundings, but he has been in North London for long enough now and he also has Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker- his German countrymen to help him out. I don’t even think that Arsenal needed to buy him. They already had players such as Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere who can both play in the same role and also Aaron Ramsey, a player who also can give an attacking option.
However, Ozil did start well for the Gunners, assisting a few goals and scoring his first goal in his first month or so wearing the red and white shirt. He just seems to have gone off the boil recently, occasionally coming up with something special, but not as often as I’m sure the Arsenal faithful would like.
All in all I feel that Wenger and Arsenal would have been better off waiting for the January window if they did need someone in by then, and not gamble and spend over £40 million on a player that was unproven on English soil and has not lived up to potential. Maybe Juan Mata would have been a better option.