He is an undeniable talent, and on that will be sorely missed should, as expected he leave the Emirates this summer. But would have we already seen the high-water mark of Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal career, and would selling him be such a bad idea?
It’s certainly a controversial sentiment, anyone who has witnessed the German in full flight knows they are witnessing one of the most elegant and creative footballers on this generation.
Mesmeric, enchanting skills – no better exemplified than his wonderful finish against Ludogorets in the Champions League earlier this season – have made him a fans favourite and resulted in admiring glances from Arsenal’s European rivals.
But there is of course another side to Ozil’s game that taints the World Cup winner’s achievements for many fans. Quite simply: he goes missing in the biggest matches.
Last season was the peak of his Arsenal career to date, with his slide rule passing helping to clock up 19 assists in the Premier League alone (in fact earlier his season he had the highest assist to game ratio of any player in the history of the Premier League)
By contrast this season he has made less than a quarter as many chances, as Arsenal have failed to build on last season’s achievements.
Of course this isn’t the first campaign in which Ozil has failed to live up to expectations at the Emirates, after an excellent debut campaign he struggled during his second season at the club.
It’s also worth remembering that he failed to make a real impact at former club Real Madrid until his third La Liga season when he made 24 goals and scored ten
With Arsenal’s season in serious jeopardy, can the decorated German pull a rabbit out of his hat a few more times in service of a club that truly loves players of his type? The days of loyal players like Dennis Bergkamp might be at and end, but The Gunners have never needed some strong shifts as much as they do now from the German.
Next up is a must win game against Man City at the Emirates. In current form bookies might just entertain giving punters a free bet on Ozil scoring or even making an assist, safe in the knowledge they are unlikely to pay out.
But Arsenal fans can hope that this is one big game he does grab the scuff on the neck. In full flow there is no finer player, but there is nagging suspicion we may have seen his best days in North London.
Graphics courtesy of football predictions site KickOff.