German midfield misfit Mesut Ozil was given a reprieve in the friendly against Aston Villa which surprised the majority of fans, but does it mean that he will play a part in the new campaign, is he back in Arteta’s good books? Well, stranger things have happened in the world of the highly paid football star, just look at Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, who came back from the brink.
However, before our imagination runs riot, Mikel Arteta’s side have a long season ahead of them and if the quest for transfer targets of Thomas Partey or Houssem Aouar comes to nothing, Arteta may have no choice but to squeeze some effort out of the idealistic German playmaker.
I’m not sure that one game constitutes a comeback and there are enough reasons not to include the rebellious number ten, who seemed determined to burn bridges and cremate any available olive branches last term.
Arteta is looking for something that a great many fans think Ozil doesn’t possess, mainly a willingness to put in a solid and committed shift when called upon. Yes, Mesut Ozil has the talent, he unquestionably has the skills and vision but to get his place back in this new, reinvented Arsenal squad, he needs to show the consistency, desire, and attitude in the final throws of his disappointing Arsenal career.
We will no doubt reflect on his wealth of creativity when he leaves in 2021, but those gifts pretty much ended in 2016 and will forever be outweighed by the frustrations of a squandered talent. Ozil, ever the self-publicist, appealed to the fans with his positive pre-season social media messages, but that will count for nothing unless he rolls up his sleeves and starts to deliver.
It’s been a long time since he showed what he’s capable of and with Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka forming a useful partnership and the return of a fit and forceful Mohamed Elneny, he must surely be way down the list. It’s even worse if Arteta plans to use the youthful Smith Rowe, Azeez, or Willock, what does Ozil have to offer?
With further additions expected, it’s difficult to see how Mesut Ozil can force his way back into a very competitive squad unless he reconnects with his sporadic gifts. Perhaps, his inclusion was just to remind everyone that he’s available to another club for a nominal fee. Ozil himself doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere in a hurry, nor does he look like the regular first choice in the Arsenal midfield.
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