Football

Would Mesut Ozil fail at Manchester United?

Ozil signed for Arsenal on transfer deadline day. (©GettyImages)
Ozil signed for Arsenal on transfer deadline day. (©GettyImages).

Arsenal sent shock waves through the world of football with the £42.4m purchase of Real Madrid and Germany star Mesut Ozil. 

The deal shattered Arsenal's transfer record by over £27m and showed rivals that they were ready to compete in the transfer market after drastic austerity measures, placed on the club by themselves, came to an end.

But the most interesting aspect of the Ozil transfer was not Arsene Wenger's rare caution-to-the-wind throwing, but the fact that Manchester United stood idly by whilst Arsenal snapped up one of the most coveted talents in the modern game.

David Moyes had struggled to assert himself in the transfer market in his first summer with the Premier League champions. Failed pursuits of Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara still hang over his head today.

Ozil would have been a better signing than either of those players. Revered as the 'King of Assists', the German sounds like a perfect addition to a side lacking in the qualities he is famous for - creativity.

The 24-year-old has had a good start to life at Arsenal, fitting in seamlessly at the Emirates and with Arsenal's style of play.

Manchester United fans must be ruing Moyes' decision not to bring him to Old Trafford as surely a bid from the Premier League champions would have seen Ozil reject Arsenal's advances.

As good as Arsenal have looked this year, the fact remains that United are a much bigger club and any rivalled bid would've placed Arsenal's pursuit in serious doubt.

But would Ozil have been as good at Old Trafford as he has looked at Arsenal? Or would United's lack of creative players left the German isolated in the centre of a confused midfield.

A serious issue emerging from Manchester United this season is the failure of Shinji Kagawa to fit in to the team. Although lacking the same reputation of Ozil, there are definitely some similarities in their style of play.

Kagawa is still held in high regard at Borussia Dortmund and the Japanese was well on his way to matching the reputation of Ozil when he left for Old Trafford last summer.

He has since stuck out like a soar thumb. Although showing glimpses of wondrous talent at times, they have been rare. Unfortunately, because of the way United play, those displays will grow rarer still.

The fact is that the Red Devils do not play the right brand of football to allow a creative midfielder to blossom.

They play a direct and unattractive brand, akin to a typical Sam Allardyce squad but with the bells and whistles of quality players like Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

So, although there is nothing to suggest that this brand of football has anything to do with their poor start to the season - United have won many titles playing this way - it does limit the club to buying certain types of players.

Those players are the ones that drive forward in hope rather than expectation. They are they ones that look for the 30-yard pass across field rather than the quick one-two in the opponent's penalty box. They're effective at times, but seldom glamorous.

Ozil, like the failing Kagawa, does not fall in to this category of player. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that he may have fallen short of the form he is, and will continue to show, for the Gunners.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Arsenal

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