Juan Mata v Mesut Ozil: Head-to-head comparison

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Manchester United paid a club-record £37.1m fee to sign Spanish playmaker Juan Mata from Chelsea last month, while Arsenal broke their club record transfer fee last summer on ex-Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil, who cost a cool £42.4m.

But which of the two world-class playmakers is the better player?

It's fair to say that we are yet to see the best of Ozil in an Arsenal shirt, so we will take into consideration all of his past performances for his clubs and country.

Likewise, it would be unfair to judge Mata solely on the two games he has played for the Red Devils.

So, let's find out if Arsenal should have gone for Mata over Ozil last summer, or whether United should have done their utmost to sign Ozil before the start of the current campaign.


Mesut Ozil is one of the most selfless players in world football. Indeed, sometimes you just wish he'd show a little more ruthlessness when inside the opponent's penalty area.

The Germany international can certainly shoot, but Juan Mata's goalscoring record is considerably more impressive thanks to his trusty left foot.

When he finds himself in a decent position in and around the box, Mata will almost always hit the target.

Winner: Mata


A tough one to judge, this. Both players are fantastic at playing short, incisive passes under pressure.

You won't see either of them spraying 50-yard passes across the pitch ala Paul Scholes very often - and neither will you see them concede possession on a regular basis.

Although Ozil is renowned for the number of assists he contributes, Mata is similarly effective, which can only mean one outcome for this particular sub-category.

Winner: Tie


While Ozil and Mata both prefer to pass the ball when face-to-face with an opponent, it's the former who tends to dribble more.

Ozil can ghost past defenders with his change of pace, while Mata will almost always look for the pass.

Subsequently, this sub-category must go to the Arsenal star.

Winner: Ozil


Neither Ozil or Mata will pull out fancy flicks and tricks for the sake of it, but they're both capable of leaving supporters wide-mouthed with a little bit of magic when necessary.

Again, there's very little to separate the two playmakers here.

Because their decision-making skills are so good, you'll rarely see them produce a series of Cristiano Ronaldo-esque step-overs during a match, but they're skilful in their own right.

Winner: Tie

Match-winning ability

This is the crucial category: who produces the most match-winning performances?

As mentioned earlier, we've yet to see the very best of Ozil in an Arsenal shirt, while his displays with Real Madrid were largely impressive, but it was often Ronaldo who would win matches.

However, over at Stamford Bridge, Mata has been so crucial for Chelsea over the last two seasons in terms of single-handedly winning points.

This will be easier to judge in a couple of years' time - but, for now, it seems Manchester United may have landed the better playmaker.

Winner: Mata


It's so close to call, but because of his match-winning performances in recent seasons, Mata gets the nod.

Agree or disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments' section below.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Juan Mata

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