Dimitri Payet and Mesut Ozil are both excellent midfielders, who are key players for West Ham and Arsenal respectively. However, there has been a lot of debate, mainly on social media, about who is better out of the two. The latter has played for two of the biggest clubs in the world and has a World Cup to his name. Whereas Dimitri Payet plays for a mid-table Premier League side and has never lifted a major trophy. Based on this, it would be easy to believe that Ozil is the better player, but Payet has been incredible for club and country in recent years and deserves to be talked about alongside the better players in his position. I’m going to look at how the two players have started the season and see how they compare to each other.
In terms of goals, Ozil has the beating of Payet as he has scored three to the Frenchman’s one. The Arsenal man has looked a bigger goal threat this season and could be set to score more than ten in the league. In terms of shots, Ozil is averaging 1.8 shots per game at an accuracy of 46%. Compare this with Payet, who is averaging 3.22 shots per game at an accuracy of 38%. The German has been a lot better at converting chances that come his way and there is a feeling that Payet is relied on to make something happen for his side, causing him to take shots on at every opportunity. He needs to be more intelligent in the final third when it comes to shot selection as he has been wasteful at the start of this season.
Last season, Mesut Ozil has the best creative season recorded by Opta since stats began. However, he has dropped off this season and is significantly lower than Payet in the creativity ranks. The Frenchman is averaging an impressive 4.44 chances created and 4 key passes per game. He has recorded four assists this season and if he continues to create as his current rate, that total will only increase. Meanwhile, Ozil has contributed just one assist this season. He is currently averaging 2.7 chances created and 2.6 key passes per game. This is an area that he needs to improve as he is the main creative outlet in the Arsenal side.
Finally, the passing stats of the two make interesting reading and show the different roles that the two play in their respective teams. Ozil is excellent in possession and is rarely dispossessed. He averages 59 passes per game with an accuracy of 87%. The German is the link between the midfield and attack for Arsenal, making him the key man in transition. The fact that he rarely gives the ball away puts a lot of pressure on the opposition defence, as they know he has the passing range and vision to really hurt them. Meanwhile, Payet completes an average of 43.89 passes per game at an accuracy of 79%. He is less involved than Ozil, but it is clear from his creative stats that he tries to cut open defences more frequently and this may be why his pass accuracy is lower.
To conclude, they are both very good players, but they differ somewhat. There is no player that compares to Ozil in the current game. He executes things on the football pitch that few other players would even see, let alone be able to pull off. This season’s stats aren’t the best indication of what he brings to a team and there is definitely a lot more to come from him. Whereas Payet is a great player, capable of producing moments of magic, but he wouldn’t be as effective in a top side. He is doing so well at West Ham as the side is set up to get the best from him. The Frenchman has also taken his time to get to the top of the game and the opportunity to achieve meaningful success has probably alluded him. In short, I think Mesut Ozil is a better player and in truth, it shouldn’t even be a debate.