In September 2013 midfielder Mesut Ozil moved from Real Madrid to Arsenal. This transfer was really loud for the Gunners. The British paid for the German a record 47 million euros at that time. Cristiano Ronaldo shot arrows at the Blancos leadership for releasing the team's best assistant. Ozil himself went to assist in London, where he immediately got down to business. In his first English season, Mesut scored 5 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League, which is not bad for a rookie.
The best in Arsenal for the German was the 2015/16 season. The midfielder then gave 19 assists throughout the campaign. Ozila was named the best player of the club, and the Gunners took 2nd place in the Premier League standings. Since then Mesut has assisted less and less, and the Londoners have never finished the season above the 5th line. After the departure of Arsene Wenger, the football player's affairs began to deteriorate noticeably. In the 2019/20 season, the midfielder only played 18 Premier League games. The last time a German entered the field was on March 7th. In the current campaign, Ozil has not entered either the Europa League or the Premier League. Why did the once best playmaker in Europe (and maybe the world) stop playing? There are several reasons for this. Further - about everything in order.
It all started in July 2018, when Mesut posted a photo with the current President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, on social media. For this, the footballer received a decent portion of criticism from the German media. At that time, the presidential elections were taking place in Turkey. In Germany, it was believed that the Arsenal player openly expresses support for Erdogan, whom the Germans did not treat well. Ozil attributed everything to Turkish roots and personal acquaintance with the politician. Mesut did not smooth things over, but began to attack journalists, accusing them of slander. A big scandal erupted, which ended with the fact that the midfielder lost his place in the German national team. Rather, he himself left the national team.
The situation with Erdogan, in principle, did not affect the football player's career at Arsenal. The tipping point happened at the end of 2019. Ozil published angry posts in which he criticized the Chinese authorities for their mistreatment of the Uighurs. The Uighurs are Muslims of Turkic origin, of whom there are about 10 million in the PRC. The footballer accused the Chinese authorities of abusing and even killing the Uighurs in every possible way. After the publication of such posts, the Chinese broadcaster of the Premier League immediately struck off the air the match between Arsenal and Manchester City. The scandal turned out to be huge. Arsenal issued a statement saying the club does not share the player's position. Ozil, interestingly, played in the match against City, but was not included in the application for the next match against Everton, being healthy. Mesut did not apologize for his remarks to help the club improve relations with the Chinese broadcaster. The footballer's publications damaged Arsenal's image in the PRC and created financial problems. There is an opinion that some members of the leadership of the "Gunners" still have not forgiven the German for his stubbornness, and this was reflected in his career.
Ozil had a chance to rehabilitate himself in front of bosses in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Arsenal, like many other clubs, asked the players to cut wages, experiencing financial problems due to the stoppage of the season. Mesut just humanly had to make concessions, being the highest paid player on the team. But he didn't go. The Gunners continue to pay the midfielder £ 350,000 a week to this day. In addition, in September the British paid the German 8 million "on top". This money was due to him under the contract, as a bonus for loyalty.
Ozil is a vivid example of how a public person should and should not behave. Even now, without playing for 9 months, Mesut does not hesitate to openly discuss and criticize Arsenal's management. It is clear that there is no talk of any extension of the contract. The Gunners tried to sell the player last summer, but did not find buyers for him. The footballer himself rejected some of the proposals. Now the bosses of Arsenal are waiting for January, hoping to get at least something for Ozil. However, the German intends to leave the London club only at the end of the season as a free agent.
Often, attacking players do not like to practice in defense. For many of them, this is a big problem, including Ozil. Wenger was not too principled in relation to Mesut, so he was German and tried to play as efficiently as possible. Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta forced the midfielder to do exactly what they themselves demanded. Wenger once said that Özil can be an important strategic player if you find the right approach to him. The Frenchman suggested to his successors not to sharpen the German in picking up the ball, but to put a defensive player next to him. They didn't.
There is a category of players who show the maximum of their capabilities only if optimal conditions are created for them. Arteta felt that Ozil was not worth the trouble. But the German "gunners" are now sorely lacking. Arsenal are in last place in the Premier League in terms of created chances and goals scored. The team lacks a creative footballer, which is Mesut. Arteta changes schemes, puts players in different positions, seeks out-of-the-box solutions, but everything is not right. Now the Gunners are located in the second part of the Premier League standings - not so far from the relegation zone, but far enough from the leaders.
Of course, Ozil won't solve all of Arsenal's problems. But with his participation, the team could create more and, therefore, score more. Arsenal's forwards are dependent on the players to deliver the ball to their opponents' penalty area. Arsenal do not have such performers now. But then the Londoners have matches with very serious rivals: Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City in the League Cup.