Both Christian Eriksen and Mesut Ozil made huge moves this summer, the former to Tottenham and the latter to the hated rivals down the road, Arsenal.
Although based on consistency, performance in big games, and current talent, Ozil seems to be the clear choice of the two - but who would you rather have? After all Eriksen, 21, is much younger and cost much less.
Here, the two players will be compared and analysed, and the decision will be left up to you. Remember, it's not the better player, but who would you rather have on your team, while considering the price and long term impact.
Tottenham found their long-awaited replacement for Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric. Well, actually, the wait wasn't even that long but it seemed an eternity as Spurs could have used anyone with that creative talent to help them qualify for the Champions League.
Eriksen is that guy, and maybe more.
The Danish attacking midfielder was linked with bigger clubs, such as Liverpool and Manchester City. It seems he made the right choice as he is thriving at Tottenham. His creative presence couples perfectly with full-width players Roberto Soldado, Gylfi Sigurdson, and Andros Townsend. Meanwhile, he is guaranteed a regular, starting role that he would not have been at Manchester City.
Here are some of his advantages over Ozil.
At 21, Eriksen is not even close to his ceiling. Meanwhile, Ozil is 24; he is still young, but has nowhere near the same amount of raw potential. Eriksen also cost a mere £11m, compared to Ozil's hefty £42.4m price tag.
Eriksen is a bigger physical body as well, allowing him to make tough passes in traffic. In those situations, Eriksen can stay up while Ozil might be forced off the ball. Lastly, Eriksen has a creative element to his game that Ozil doesn't have.
It sounds crazy, but Eriksen can thread passes that no one else in the world could see. His pure ability to see, react, and create is something that is extremely rare and priceless. Eriksen is pure class, and the sky is his limit. Offensively, he is a juggernaut and can even put in a goal every now and than. He has all the right combinations to be a star and the premier number ten in England.
Ozil was not the steal that Eriksen was. However, he was definitely worth his price and is still only 24.
The German midfielder might be the spark that Arsenal needs to elevate their game. They've already made it clear that they want to be contenders this year. Ozil has single-handedly transformed their transfer window from abysmal to decent.
Ozil doesn't fit in as seamlessly as Eriksen does. He takes away time from established players such as Arteta and Cazorla and makes Wilshere and Ramsey assume more defensive positions. Still, nobody at Arsenal is complaining because Ozil likely is the best player on that team.
Here are his advantages over Eriksen.
The German craftsman is an established superstar. During a few, very successful seasons at Real Madrid his passing was probably the best from his position in the world. Last year, he had 35 assists for club and country in all competitions. It would be shocking to see him have an off year any time soon.
Skill-wise, he is also the better passer. Just in terms of the balls he can play, no one in the world can match his precision and accuracy. He is the better decision maker as well, and will pick the right pass, rarely forcing one. Although he cannot match Eriksen's creativity, he makes up for it in skill. He can create space so as to find himself with multiple passing lanes, leaving him all alone to make a decision. If you were asked to pick an all star team right now, it would be hard to say that somebody could do Ozil's job better.
If you're looking for the better player, it's Ozil hands down. He has proven himself time and time again and is one of the best players in the world. However, the player you'd rather have on your team is a trickier question. The younger Eriksen seems to have an even higher ceiling than Ozil, given his physical attributes and creativity.
Costing just over a quarter of what Ozil did, he represents one of the steals of the summer. If Tottenham can keep him for years to come, their goal might transform into Champions instead of Champions' League.
Ozil throws Arsenal into that discussion now. His skills will help them tremendously in all games, but especially the Champions' League, where he is familiar with style of play and tempo. Ozil also turns Olivier Giroud into a great striker and omnipresent threat. He is more consistent.
With either player, you're well set but it seems the argument comes down to whether you'd rather take a risk on the future or go all in for now.
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