For all the grief Arsene Wenger gets for his dilly-dallying approach to transfer windows, the Frenchman has managed to break the norm to pull off a real heavyweight purchase for his club.
Mesut Ozil will prove to be the signing of the summer transfer window and despite his £42.5m fee, which smashes Arsenal’s transfer record, is a real bargain for the Gunners.
Going off transfer fees alone, Ozil is rated as half the player Gareth Bale is, but of the two 24-year-olds it is the German who is the better buy.
Ozil, who is 7/10 to score over 4.5 Premier League goals this season, doesn’t necessarily play in a position that Arsenal desperately needed replenishing, but if there is one thing that Arsene Wenger hates more than spending money, it’s spending money on defensive players. So an arrival of the German’s ilk, position and style was to be expected.
But, while Ozil may not have been a necessity for Arsenal, he is still one of the few players in the world who can provide an upgrade on Santi Cazorla as Arsenal’s creative hub and, unlike Bale at Madrid, fits perfectly into Arsenal’s side.
According to Opta, no player in any of the continent’s top five leagues has laid on more goals than Ozil in the last five seasons and, combined with Cazorla, they created 188 chances for teammates in league football last season.
It is therefore imperative that Wenger pairs the two creators together in future Arsenal XIs, but the question is how?
Well, for now Lukas Podolski’s hamstring injury will allow Cazorla to operate from the left flank, freeing Ozil to oust the underrated, but dispensable Tomas Rosicky from the number 10 spot.
Once Podolski returns, after a likely ten-week layoff, his strong understanding with the former Real Madrid playmaker from the German national side should see him return to the starting line-up.
Presumably by then Aaron Ramsey would have lost form or Jack Wilshere would be injured again so pushing Cazorla deeper should solve any potential selection problems. But, it’s clear that Ozil’s arrival makes Arsenal’s midfield options extremely strong with the back ups of Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini providing considerable depth.