Arsenal fans had to wait until deadline day for Arsene Wenger to finally splash the cash, but it was a worthwhile wait when the club announced a reported £42.4 million deal for Germany and Real Madrid star Mesut Özil.
The German international made 32 appearances in La Liga for Real Madrid last season, scoring 9 goals and bagging an impressive 13 assists, but how does he compare to the most creative players in the Premier League last season?
We take a look a look at how well Özil fared against the players to create the most chances, the players to create the most clear cut chances, the players with the most assists and the players to play the most successful through balls last season.
Mesut Özil – Chances Created
First of all we take a look at how well Mesut Özil compared to the players to create the most chances in the Premier League last season.
Mesut Özil created 92 chances in La Liga last season, which would have put him 6th in the list of top chance creators in the Premier League last season. Leighton Baines created 116 chances, which was more than any player, while David Silva (104), Santi Cazorla (96), Juan Mata (95) and Steven Gerrard (94) all created more chances than the former Real Madrid midfielder last season.
However, Özil created a chance more often than any of the other players in this comparison, creating a chance every 22 minutes. This was 2 minutes more often than David Silva, 7 minutes more often than Leighton Baines and Juan Mata. The German also created a chance 11 minutes more often than Luis Suarez and 12 minutes more often than Steven Gerrard and new team-mate Santi Cazorla.
Mesut Özil also created a chance more often than any other Premier League player to create 50 chances or more last season, with David Silva (24 minutes), Juan Mata (29 minutes), Leighton Baines (29 minutes) and Adel Taraabt (29 minutes) coming closest to the German international.
Mesut Özil – Clear Cut Chances
Mesut Özil created 24 clear cut chances, which was more than any Premier League player created last season. Leighton Baines created the most clear cut chances in the Premier League last season, but this was still 2 fewer than Arsenal’s new signing. Samir Nasri and Robert Snodgrass both created 16 clear cut chances, Luis Suarez and Santi Cazorla created 15, while Juan Mata and Robin Van Persie created 14 clear cut chances last season.
Mesut Özil also created a clear cut chance every 84 minutes, which was 29 minutes more often than Samir Nasri, 71 minutes more often than Leighton Baines and and impressive 108 minutes more often than Robert Snodgrass. Santi Cazorla created the most clear cut chances for Arsenal last season, but the German created 9 more clear cut chances than his new team-mate and created a clear cut chance 137 minutes more often than the Spaniard.
Mesut Özil – Assists
Mesut Özil assisted 13 goals last season, which was the second most in La Liga behind Andres Iniesta who assisted 16 goals but one more than Juan Mata who assisted the most goals in the Premier League last season.
Mesut Özil also assisted 2 more goals than both Eden Hazard and Santi Cazorla, 3 more goals than Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott and 4 more goals than Lukas Podolski and Steven Gerrard.
Özil also assisted a goal every 156 minutes last season, which was 46 minutes more often than Wayne Rooney and 66 minutes more often than new team-mate Lukas Podolski. Theo Walcott got an assist every 228 minutes, which was 72 minutes less often than Mesut Özil and Juan Mata who assisted a goal every 229 minutes, 73 minutes less often than Mesut Özil.
The German also assisted a goal 84 minutes more often than Eden Hazard, 145 minutes more often than Santi Cazorla and 202 minutes more often than Steven Gerrard.
Successful Through Balls
Mesut Özil played 17 successful through balls last season, which was the fourth most in La Liga last season behind Iniesta (20), Fabregas (20) and Di Maria (18).
Santi Cazorla played 30 accurate through balls last season, which was 13 more than Mesut Özil and David Silva. Luis Suarez played 13 accurate through balls last season, while Yaya Toure and Rickie Lambert both played 12 accurate through balls last season.
Santi Cazorla also played an accurate through ball every 110 minutes last season, which was more often than any other player in this comparison and 9 minutes more often than Özil himself. David Silva played an accurate through ball every 148 minutes, Luis Suarez played an accurate through ball every 227 minutes, Yaya Toure played an accurate through ball every 236 minutes, while Rickie Lambert played an accurate through ball every 261 minutes.
Final Thoughts on Mesut Özil’s Creativity
Mesut Özil really impresses in all aspects of this comparison, creating a chance more often than any of the other top chance creators last season, creating a clear cut chance more often than any of the other players in this comparison and assisting more goals than any other Premier League player last season.
Özil also played 17 accurate through balls last season, with only his new team-mate Santi Cazorla (30) playing more last season.
However, Mesut Özil played in a Real Madrid side full of world class players that scored 103 goals in La Liga last season and it is very difficult to compare the statistics across both leagues.
There are a lot of very strong teams in the Premier League competing for the title, the Champions League places and the Europa League, while Barcelona and Real Madrid are a class above the other teams in La Liga. There are only a handful of teams such as Atletico and Real Sociedad giving them some competition in the league, with Real Sociedad finishing 19 points behind Real Madrid and 34 points behind winners Barcelona last season.
A lot has also been made about it being easier for Mesut Özil to create a lot of chances and assist a lot of goals with players like Cristiano Ronaldo in the team. Five of Mesut Özil’s thirteen assists last season were for Cristiano Ronaldo, while Özil assisted two of Benzema’s goals, two of Sergio Ramos’ goals and assisted a goal each for Essien, Khedira, Higuain and Di Maria.
None of Mesut Özil’s assists were for the first goal of the game, with eight of Özil’s assists coming in the second half and six of them coming after the 60th minute. There had been on average 2.8 goals per game already scored before Özil had got an assist in a game, showing just how open La Liga is.
Although La Liga is much more open than the Premier League and Mesut Özil having a lot more time on the ball, if he can do just half as well in the Premier League this season then Arsenal will have one hell of a player. Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott will both be delighted with their new signing, especially if Mesut Özil and Santi Cazorla can play as many successful through balls as they did last season.
Arsenal have signed a world class creative midfielder and with Mesut Özil and Santi Cazorla in the same team, defenders will be dreading playing Arsenal this season.