Mesut Ozil’s Move to Turkey’s Fenerbahçe.
It’s been a long-running saga between player and club and finally, it looks like the midfield World Cup Winner Mesut Ozil has got his move away that will ensure he gets some playing time. He’s been keeping the bench warm for over a year and since March 2020, not even making it to the bench! It was clear his time at Arsenal was over after falling out of favor with first, Unai Emery and later Mikel Arteta.
Critics have claimed he was happy to just wind down his lucrative 350k a week contract, but this move shows he still has some ambition and passion for the game. Moving to Fenerbahçe seems the perfect fit for someone who has suffered from negative press, an ignominious exit from the Germany football team after references made to his Turkish roots and alienating the passionate but fickle Gunners fans. At Fenerbahçe he will be adored by home fans and given a lot of slack.
The manager there, Erol Bulut will not expect him to track back and waste his talents on defending. He will be allowed to express his undoubted attacking and passing abilities. See this Facebook video of Ozil arriving in Istanbul.
Where Did it Go Wrong for Ozil at Arsenal?
Ozil was the fastest player in Premiership history to reach 50 assists, he’s a world cup winner and was seen as the key player for Arsenal’s revival as a powerhouse in English Football. Arsene Wenger gave him a massive three-and-a-half-year contract at £350k a week and he was lauded as one of the best-attacking midfielders of his generation by Wenger and other managers like Mourinho.
After Wenger left, Ozil lost his biggest admirer and a manager who believed in free-flowing football above anything, certainly more than pressing the ball and defensive football. The subsequent managers, apart from maybe Ljungberg’s short reign, have all been more pragmatic and demanded more defensive responsibilities from the German International.
As is often reported on football news sites such as 101greatgoals sports providing football transfer news and gossip, managers who brought players in, but are no longer at the club, usually support their transfer decision and praise the player’s skills when the new manager, in this case Mikel Arteta, forces an exit. Football news websites often find the reason, and Ozil would have been perfect for Wenger’s style of play but just does not fit into Arteta’s plan.
This is not Ozil’s game, this perceived lack of team ethic and the less than stellar performances in important matches against bigger teams meant Ozil was frozen out and not even given a squad number in the current season.
The player wasn’t suffering because he was on a handsome weekly salary; he seemed to spend more time on social media, saving the club mascot Gunnersaurus from redundancy. That’s the main reason the press and fans have had no sympathy for him. This move away will hopefully rejuvenate his career, or at least allow his talent to dazzle again on a football pitch. It would be a bigger loss to the wider football world were he to follow his International retirement with club retirement without at least another chance to shine and remind us of his sublime skills and vision.
And to banish the criticism of him being a mercenary and only holding out for the money, it’s reported his salary at Fenerbahçe will be less than a quarter of his Arsenal salary.
What Can They do now Ozil is Gone?
With that mighty wage freed up who should the club bring in to improve their team. Check out the hottest young talent around Europe that may interest Arteta and the club hierarchy.
With Arsenal’s terrible scoring record in the current season only just better than the current bottom three, Sheffield United, Burnley and West Brom, they probably need to invest in some midfielders or wingers who can provide goals and assists to transform them into a front-runner in the title race.