Who could replace Özil? Here’s three players Arsenal could target
Although he’s enjoying more game time of late, Mesut Ozil could find himself surplus to requirements at Arsenal come the summer transfer window. The former Germany star has really struggled for consistency over the last 18 months, and it’s time that the Gunners cut their losses and move on the club’s highest earner.
Ozil’s £350,000 per-week deal still has two years left to run, but manager Unai Emery may be keen to shift him off Arsenal’s books to bring in some fresh, hungry talent. The North Londoners final league position will have a lot of bearing for who they could possibly tempt to the Emirates Stadium this summer; so let’s take a look at three realistic targets who could make the switch.
One name that has already been thrown into the mix as Ozil’s replacement is fellow German Kai Havertz, who currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen. The 19-year-old has been something of a revelation in the Bundesliga this season, scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists. Havertz already has two senior caps for the national side, and is set for a big future in the game so Arsenal will need to move quickly if they want to get their man.
Havertz’s style of play is reminiscent of Ozil’s; a technically gifted, attacking midfielder who is apt with both feet but here’s to hoping he shows a higher work-rate than Ozil! The only major stumbling block will be Havertz’s price tag. His current transfer value stands at £58.5m, so Champions League qualification could be vital to both afford him and tempt him.
If Arsenal were able to persuade Isco to swap the Bernabeu for the Emirates, they’ll have pulled off something of a coup which will prove a huge lift to the supporters. The Spanish midfielder oozes class and would likely have little trouble adapting to the rigours of the Premier League, and he already suits Arsenal’s style of play.
Now that Real Madrid have re-employed Zinedine Zidane, the future of Isco will remain in doubt, but he has accumulated more game time than he had in his previous four run-outs. Similar to Havertz, Isco won’t come cheap and they’ll be fierce competition for his services if he does leave Los Blancos in the summer.
The forgotten Madrid man has certainly struggled to live up to his billing after a sensational World Cup five years ago, but any club who signs James Rodriguez would be acquiring one of European football’s finest talents. The Colombian star is currently on a two-year loan at Bayern Munich, and the Bundesliga giants have first option to buy the attacking midfielder.
James’ versatility would be a massive bonus to Emery and Arsenal if he did want to entertain a switch to England. The Gunners could certainly benefit from utilising him in a variety of attacking positions. At the age of 27, James is coming into his peak and he could be the type of player to take Arsenal back in to the Champions League.
He was also the top scorer in the 2014 World Cup, so he definitely knows how to find the back of the net. However, owing to Bayern’s defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League, Rodriguez won’t be in the reckoning amongst the tournament’s top scorers but the full market for the 2019 competition is available here: https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/football/market/1.148162575.
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