As Mesut Ozil’s departure to Fenerbahce or the MLS appears to be fast approaching, Arsenal look to be considering their options for a replacement.
As you can imagine, that started a virtual frenzy with names cascading from the sports pages without any legitimate connection.
It’s said that midfield misfit Mesut Ozil has put his £10m London mansion up for sale in preparation for a move in January and as a result, the media is awash with speculation on a replacement.
Replacement ? Mesut Ozil has only played 71 minutes so far, which is less than Abou Diaby managed in any given season during an injury prone spell with Arsenal.
There was a suggestion that Dani Ceballos was keen to extend his contract as the press made the most of his statements by misinterpreting the positives. The Spanish midfielder had said
“Going to Arsenal has been a very important step in my career.”
“I don’t feel sorry for not being in Madrid. Right now I am where I want to be and I am very happy.”
That obviously implied he was looking to extend his stay, but he quickly extinguished that days later by adding:
“I never thought about going permanently. My goal is to succeed at Real Madrid. I will fight to fulfil my dream.”
I have doubts that a permanent move was ever a realistic proposition and that Emery wanted the Spaniard whilst he decided how to offload Mesut Ozil. Ceballos is a talent, but he could be unaffordable at the end of his £15m loan spell.
Arsenal have been busy since last season making plans and restructuring the recruitment side of the business, which suggests that they will secure a playmaker in the summer transfer window.
Emery may go for the experience of someone who has four or five years left in the game while his talented youngsters reach their full potential.
Miralem Pjanić of Juventus has great distribution and vision and at 29, he would be a leader and role model in the middle, but he may cost around £63m. He is someone that could add an influential presence and could encourage the likes of Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi and Emile Smith Rowe.
If they are going for young, 20-year-old Norwegian midfielder Martin Ødegaard was one name suggested this week along with German Kai Havertz (20) and Ghanaian ace Thomas Partey (26)
Alternatively, they could have the answer right under their noses in the premiership ready, Rúben Neves (22) of Wolves, who at times reminds me of an upgraded Mikel Arteta.
I have said that Arsenal will have to re-examine the midfield urgently in the summer because it lacks the ability to control and dominate a game. Moreover, they surely need someone of the qualities of Mesut Ozil and more importantly, who is backed by Emery.
The answer is out there but for how much and who ?