Manchester United and Arsenal are both rumoured to be chasing German star Mesut Ozil. The Real Madrid midfielder has been linked with a move to the Premier League after the arrival of Isco and the impending arrival of Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu. For those who watch La Liga, the sale of Ozil would seem nonsensical as he has been one of Real’s best players ever since his arrival. However, noises coming out of Spain hint that the player himself wants to leave. Adding fuel to the fire was the player being substituted on Monday night against Malaga after which he headed straight down the tunnel. Under Jose Mourinho, Ozil rarely reached ninety minutes and the understanding is that under Ancelotti he felt this would change. Two games into the season and Ozil has been substituted in both, fuelling speculation that the player wants to leave.
Both Manchester United and Arsenal are searching for a marquee signing. Manchester United have been searching for a central midfielder all summer, and although Ozil has always performed in an advanced midfield role, there is no doubt that his quality will improve David Moyes’ team. Arsene Wenger has reiterated over the summer that any signing he makes must improve his squad. Undoubtedly Ozil will do that, but whether he would choose to join Arsenal if Manchester United are indeed interested is another matter.
What is certain is that the team that has Ozil come the end of the transfer window will be in possession of a player of the highest quality. An extremely technical player, who doesn’t lack in pace, Ozil is in the same mould as Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, David Silva or Phillipe Coutinho. Very much the modern footballer, he is able to operate on the wing as well as his preferred attacking midfield position. Ozil contributed twenty-two assists in all competitions last season, a remarkable number. Thirteen of these assists were in the league where also Ozil also scored nine goals. Being directly involved in twenty-two goals shows how important Ozil has been for Real Madrid. It is this creativity that would make Ozil a great addition for United or Arsenal as well as the Premier League.
With Angel Di Maria also being linked with a move to the Premier League, Real Madrid’s summer deals could see some of their big name players in the past few seasons move on. Real Madrid are a club used to change as new managers often bring new philosophies and personnel with them to the Bernabeu, so Ozil moving may not be so farfetched. In the past Madrid have let go of stars such as Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael Van der Vaart, all whilst seemingly still in their pomp as players. A move to Arsenal seems more likely for Ozil as Arsene Wenger is aware of the situation at Madrid and are likely to bid. Important to any deal for Ozil, could be the future of Gareth Bale. If Bale is signed, it makes it more likely that Ozil or Di Maria will look at moving to secure guaranteed first team football, something that Arsenal will be able to give both.
Neither team should be ruled out, but if Ozil does make himself available there will be many suitors baying for his signature. With this season being a World Cup year, players will be keen to get as much playing time as possible. Although Ozil has been a mainstay in his international side, the emergence of talents such as Mario Gotze, Julian Draxler and Marco Reus means that if not guaranteed playing time, his place may not be as secure as it once was. The coming days before the end of the transfer window will bring more speculation, but Ozil will be a steal for any side who managers to snare him.