Will Mesut Özil be gone from Arsenal by January?

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Oct 19th, 2017

No matter where you look in the press over recent weeks, there’s a huge cloud of doubt over the future of Mesut Özil at Arsenal. From transfer rumours linking the attacking midfielder to possible interest from Premier League rivals or La Liga giants to critical comments from an iconic former Gunner, there’s a growing consensus of opinion that his days at the club are numbered.

The arrival of Özil at the very end of the 2013 summer transfer window was regarded as a huge coup for Arsenal, whilst also viewed with considerable surprise in Spain, due to him having arguably been one of Real Madrid’s most consistent players during the previous 2012/13 campaign and ranking highest for assists in La Liga.

For three seasons, Özil certainly appeared to be providing value for money, following the sizeable Arsenal outlay for his transfer fee and wages, with the quality of his performances gaining the recognition of fans at the end of the 2015/16 campaign; he was voted as Arsenal Player of the Season after contributing 8 goals and 20 assists in all competitions. 12 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions was also a career best last season, but not everything was rosy.

Although Arsenal finished last season with a victory in the FA Cup against Chelsea, the team was yet again frustratingly disappointing in the Premier League and failed to even qualify for the Champions League. Not even Özil could avoid criticism as the fingers of blame pointed in every direction, with accusations that he was too much of a luxury player, often going missing in games or not contributing enough overall.

Aside from the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette as the key player at the Emirates, a recent blog article from betsafe lists other transfers in Premier League as far more inspirational, whilst Arsenal missed out on various targets and opportunities to strengthen. Already six points off the pace being set by the two Manchester clubs, both of whom spent heavily in the summer, Wenger’s team is already lagging behind after losing two of their opening seven Premier League encounters.

Whilst, in reality, the campaign has hardly even begun, once more the knives are out and criticism is coming from every direction. Once again, Özil has become the centre of debate and not for the right reasons, accused of showing a lack of effort and professionalism, or even feigning injury problems.

“I think in some departments he’s already left. Psychologically, mentally, he’s already left the football club,” was the scathing criticism levelled at Özil by former Arsenal legend, Martin Keown, who also believes Arsene Wenger has now lost patience and any remaining shred of confidence in the German.

Özil himself took to his official social media accounts to offer his response. “When in doubt, sweat it out” the simple message, accompanying videos posted of his fitness work at the gym. The problem is that doubts regarding his future at the club aren’t going away, as speculation intensifies given that since contract extension talks apparently stalled last February, there have been no signs of progress since.

Of course, this keeps the rumour mill grinding out gossip that Özil is already setting his sights on a move elsewhere, amidst claims that Manchester United and Barcelona are interested in swooping. If the player does indeed want to leave, then it would make sense for Arsenal to offload Özil and cash in for as much as they can get and to sell during the January transfer window.

To recoup any of the original investment would most likely mean selling to another Premier League club, but if he headed north to Old Trafford, that would certainly leave Arsenal fans with a sour taste, especially given bitter memories of Robin van Persie’s departure in the none too distant past.

Real Madrid apparently inserted a buy-back clause in the original transfer, which, if still active, gave them a 48-hour option should interest arrive from another La Liga club, which essentially amounts to a veiled method of blocking any potential bid from Barcelona. The problem is, Zidane’s side currently have no need of Özil and if the Catalan club are even remotely interested, they’re more likely to bide their time and look for a pre-contract agreement and Arsenal wouldn’t see a penny.

Save for Özil making a quick return to fitness, rediscovering his form and quality on the pitch, and signing a new deal between now and December; his departure would otherwise appear to be a foregone conclusion. In the meantime, the rampant speculation is far from healthy for anyone and a definitive solution needs to be reached.

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About "" - 505 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

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