They came to see Gareth Bale, however not before giving chairman Florentino Perez a message - fans of Real Madrid cried out to Perez, “Ozil no se vendre.”
That was the chant that rang around the Santiago Bernabeu, however it was met with a stern Perez who put his finger to his lips. A few hours later, Ozil was gone.
Some of the players echoed that frustration, with Sergio Ramos stating: "If I were in charge at Madrid, Ozil would be one of the last to be leaving" and Alvaro Arbeloa saying: "He said goodbye on Sunday, but I thought he was joking. Ozil is different; there is no-one else like him in the world - it's a shame and a big loss."
Even Ronaldo voiced his disappointment, declaring: "He was the player who best knew my moves in front of goal... I'm angry about Ozil leaving."
So if this was the general consensus throughout Madrid, why was Ozil forced out?
He never seemed to be the first choice under Carlo Ancelotti, with summer signings such as Isco shining and the signing of Gareth Bale.
Ozil is not adept in the central midfielder slot, as he does not possess the work rate or necessary attributed for the position (unlike Luka Modric who was excellent in breaking up Athletic’s attacks and pressing forth the attack from a deep position).
He is neither comfortable in a wide position, once again lacking the defensive work rate and his habit in constantly cutting in; Ozil is not suited to either position.
That leaves the playmaker role, the ‘number 10.’ However, even he has been brushed aside by the enormous potential and abilities possessed by Isco. He is an all-rounder compared to Ozil, being more athletic, agile, stronger and versatile. He can play anywhere across the three playing behind a lone striker, possessing the necessary technique and vision to do so.
He is also a clinical finisher, scoring three goals in his first three games, something Ozil once again lacked in the latter stages of his time at Madrid.
Instead of being left with an unhappy player lacking consistency, they have cashed in on him in the biggest sale in their fabled history. While no one can doubt he has still a world class player and still has plenty of time to shine at 24-years-old, he was no longer indispensable at Madrid, especially with Bale’s arrival.
So perhaps this was the best solution, for all parties. Real Madrid have got a player off their books who would most likely play a bit-part role at best, Arsenal have secured a world class signing in which they have made a huge statement and Ozil will still playing in the Champions League, seeking to recover his best form and spur his career on.
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