Signing Mesut Ozil in 2013 was a strong statement of intent for Arsenal. For the first time in years Arsene Wenger gave up his policy of parsimony.
But after paying £42.5 million an adequate profit is expected - and Ozil’s performances have not represented what Arsenal desired.
Their last Premier League title dates back to 2004, and their last and only Champions League final to 2006. They needed a player who took the lead of the group when the others vacillated.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
But still, when the others vacillated, Ozil disappeared. His first season in England saw him playing 43 games, with seven goals and 14 assists and his second only 31 games with five goals and eight assists. Not a real revolution for his price tag.
And his record in big games is meaningful. In his first two seasons at Arsenal he has made 12 appearances in the Champions League, where he scored just once and gave three assists.
Ozil has failed to justify his transfer fee
In the Premier League he has only two assists in his first eight clashes against a top-four team.
In the summer of 2013, Wenger unsuccessfully tried to sign Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and this led to a chase for a big name on deadline day, which meant a huge inflation on players’ price tags.
However, Ozil’s complete lack of industry, combined with the indolence showed in more than one occasion, gives a poor reputation to a player that could stand out.
But in football there is no room for what a player might give to his team, what he does is the only thing that really counts.
And what the Arsenal legend Thierry Henry told Sky Sports about the German after a disappointing game against Chelsea in April 2015 does not need any comment: “At one point, I do think, and I do believe, the players have to step up and stand their game up.”
Does the goal against Manchester United give any hope? Difficult to say, it is hard to believe in a player who has not been value for money so far.