Barcelona in pole position to sign Mesut Ozil for €20 million

November 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

According to reports, Arsenal have given Barcelona all clear to sign Mesut Ozil from Arsenal for €20 million (£17 million) in January.

If Arsenal decide to keep Ozil beyond the winter window, it means teams will be able to negotiate a deal with him from January with a view to a free transfer in the summer.

The Germany international took the man of the match award for his performance in the North London derby.

Arsenal could be set to cash in on the playmaker, who is out of contract with the Gunners next summer and could leave for free.

Arsenal and Ozil are in lockhorns regarding a new contract and it doesn’t appear he will Ozil will extend his stay at the Emirates.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the former Real Madrid star, but the Daily Mail claim the La Liga giants are preparing a move for Ozil.

Barca failed in their pursuit of signing Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho this summer and are looking at the Gunners playmaker as a suitable alternative.

Arsenal will return to action on Thursday night when they take on FC Cologne in the UEFA Europa League fixtures before travelling to Turf Moor on Sunday to take on FC Burnley in the Gameweek 13 of the Premier League fixtures.

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Sanchez-Ozil-Lacazette trident put Spurs ‘on their backside’ in the North London Derby

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League

Image Source: Premier League via Twitter

The overcast sky above the Emirates on Saturday might have indicated a sense of gloom ahead of the North London derby, with home side Arsenal considerably off the Premier League title pace and scrapping to even be inside the top four, whilst Tottenham were aiming to close the gap on leaders Manchester City.

The sunshine that broke through the clouds came with the starting eleven chosen by Arsene Wenger, especially with his choice of attacking trio. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez behind Alexandre Lacazette – in theory – is the most potent three-pronged attack he can choose, yet their start against Spurs on Saturday was only the third time this combination has been utilised.

Their impact was telling, as the talented trio caused no end of problems for the visiting defence and right from kick-off, creating fluidity to Arsenal’s play and a constant danger the Spurs defence struggled to deal with. Regardless of the ongoing debates over their respective futures, Wenger’s side are clearly stronger with Ozil and Sanchez than without them, whilst tip of the trident Lacazette looks most effective when they’re on the pitch behind him.

In a derby the football betting experts were predicting would be tightly fought, it was the influence of the trio that brought the two goals that would prove the difference between Arsenal and Tottenham on Saturday. Alexis drew the foul which lead to the opening goal in the 36th minute, with Ozil serving up the perfectly flighted free-kick to the head of Shkodran Mustafi; marking his return to action with a looping header beyond the reach of Hugo Lloris.

Image Source: Premier League via Twitter

Spurs were still grumbling about what they thought was a harsh free-kick decision by referee Mike Dean, when the next Arsenal goal arrived just five minutes later. Sanchez smashed in his finish from close range in the 41st minute, thanks to intelligent work inside the rival area by Lacazette, who crafted the pass back into the path of his arriving teammate.

Throughout the encounter Ozil not only produced the kind of elegance and creativity expected of him, he also tracked back and helped the team to defend; an aspect often lacking from his game that has led to much criticism for the German. “I’m convinced that Mesut Ozil adds physicality to his game and when he needs it, he can produce it. He got a standing ovation because he added to the team,” praised Wenger afterwards.

Highly critical of team performances, Wenger’s tactical choices, and of certain player loyalties; former Arsenal legend Martin Keown was much happier with Saturday’s overall display. “The Gunners were on it from the start, which wasn’t a surprise. Spurs have landed on their backside today,” he commented on BBC’s Final Score.

For Tottenham and Pochettino, this defeat comes as a further blow against another top-six rival, following their recent loss against Manchester United, whilst for Arsenal, the derby win can give them renewed impetus for the fight to finish amongst the Premier League top four. Wenger must also keep faith in the same Ozil-Sanchez-Lacazette attacking trio, because when they combine so effectively as during the derby, they’re a lethal force to be reckoned with.

Image Source: Arsenal FC via Twitter

Mesut Ozil close to losing his role in Germany’s squad

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC

When it comes to Mesut Ozil, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive in the last few weeks. The hottest gossip of all has the German set for a move to Manchester United, and a reunion with his old boss Jose Mourinho.

Joining United may well give Ozil a slightly better chance of securing the major silverware that has eluded him at Arsenal. Trophies, though, may be the least of Ozil’s worries in the coming months.

This international break has been a miserable one by anyone’s standards, and for Ozil, it has done nothing to dispel the nagging sense of doubt. For the Arsenal playmaker, a place in Joachim Low’s Germany team is no longer a given.

When Germany face France on Tuesday evening, Ozil is set to start on the bench. That, in itself, is no great drama. The worry is that he will also be starting on the bench at next summer’s World Cup.

As the world champions prepare to defend their title in Russia, there is a growing sense that Ozil is less crucial than he has ever been.

There is almost no doubt at all that he will make the squad, but as far as a place in the starting eleven goes, Ozil may be facing the biggest fight of his international career.

Part of that is down to his own performances. It has been a while since Ozil has truly enchanted the Germany fans, and his performances in friendlies have invited repeated criticism from all corners of the press.

‘Who had desire? Not Mesut Ozil, who is obviously no fan of meaningless friendlies against hard-tackling opposition,’ wrote Die Zeit after Germany’s turgid draw with England last Friday.

To be fair, there was barely a player on the pitch at Wembley who showed any kind of real desire or determination, particularly in the second half. Yet it is Ozil who seems like he has most to lose from such performances.

‘For all the talent at his disposal, Low’s challenge will be to cultivate the kind of ruthlessness which Ozil, Gundogan, Sane and Werner failed to show last night,’ wrote Bild.

On the back of the England game, the same Bild columnist drew up his ideal starting XI for next year’s World Cup, and Ozil was absent. The same happened when Bild conducted a poll of their readers to work out the fans’ favoured side.

Others in his generation remain absolutely guaranteed of a place in such lists. Whether the brilliant Toni Kroos or the struggling Thomas Muller, most of Ozil’s peers have retained their positions as undisputed first choice in their positions.

Ozil, on the other hand, is increasingly overlooked. The success of players such as Leroy Sane, Julian Brandt and the return of Mario Gotze means that it is even more crowded than ever in Germany’s attacking midfield.

The rise of players such as Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka, meanwhile, represents a direct threat to the Arsenal man. Both players shone at last summer’s Confederations Cup.

While Draxler may well be hampered by a lack of game time at Paris Saint-Germain, Goretzka has lead Schalke into the top four this season, and is fast becoming the favourite to topple Ozil.

‘(Goretzka) has brilliant technique and tempo, both with and without the ball,’ gushed Low this week. ‘And he has personality. To me, he seems very mature for his age.’

That is the factor which should alarm Ozil the most. A quieter figure both on and off the pitch, Ozil’s lack of leadership qualities may prove decisive, particularly since the retirement of Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

‘Hierarchies are built on performances,’ said Toni Kroos at this week’s press conference. ‘Everyone can rise up the ranks with good performances.’

That is the key for Ozil. If the likes of Sane, Goretzka and Draxler are outperforming him, they may also end up overtaking him in the team hierarchy.

This is, we must never forget, the man who Cristiano Ronaldo once described as ‘the best No 10 in the world’ and was dubbed the King of Assists upon his arrival in north London. Ozil still has quality in abundance, and he has always been able to lead by example if the constellation of the team is right.

At this point, though, he must show off that quality like never before, if he is to keep his place in Germany’s pecking order.

Mesut Ozil Returns – This Arsenal’s 3-4-2-1 XI Can Beat Red Star Belgrade

October 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC

Arsenal lost their Premier League game against Watford and will look to bounce back in the Europa League when they face Red Star Belgrade tomorrow night.

The Gunners are on top of their group after we won our first two games. On the other hand, the Serbian side are second with four points. It still remains to be seen who will come out on top.

As far as Arsene Wenger’s side is concerned, we can expect the French boss to make few changes to the starting XI that started vs the Hornets at the weekend.

German international Mesut Ozil returned from injury and featured in the second half vs Watford. He should get the nod to return to the starting XI tomorrow night.

The former Real Madrid star should partner Walcott in the attack behind Olivier Giroud. In the goal, we can expect Ospina to replace Cech. Arsenal’s B team should be good enough to earn all three points, possible XI provided below.

Mesut Ozil’s agent admits Mesut Ozil contract talks with Arsenal are ‘going in a positive way.’

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC

Talks over extending Mesuit Ozil’s contract at Arsenal according to the agent of the German midfielder are “going in a positive way”.

Ozil could be back in action for Arsenal’s trip to Watford on Saturday after recovering from a knee injury which kept the German World Cup winner of international duty as Germany secured their place at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

The 2010 Germany World Cup winner joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in a then club-record £42.5million deal in September 2013, but as yet has not agree a new contract.

There had been rumours, though, the former Los Blancos playmaker could be sold in January to avoid him leaving on a free transfer in the summer.

Per reports, Inter Milan, Besiktas and Manchester United, now managed by his former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, have all been reported as possible destination for player said to be seeking a salary in the region of £300,000-per-week.

The German’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut, however, suggested in quotes to Turkish media outlet Fanatik that the German could well be staying put.

Sogut said: “Ozil wants to play another two to three years in the Premier League.

“Our contacts with Arsenal continue and are going in a positive way.”

Arsenal will be back in Premier League action this weekend when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road on the back of an unbeaten run through seven matches across all competitions, with four successive victories.

However, we would be without the service of German defender Shkodran Mustafi, who suffered a suspected thigh muscle tear while on international duty.

Forward Alexis Sanchez, meanwhile, faced a long trek back to London following Chile’s final World Cup qualifier against Brazil, which saw them lose 3-0 in Sao Paulo and so miss out on a place in Russia next summer.

Report: Man United, Barcelona Ready To Sign Mesut Ozil Next Summer

October 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Arsenal FC, Premier League, Transfers

Barcelona and Manchester United are poised to signing Mesut Ozil when his Arsenal contract expires in summer 2018, according to Goal.

The Germany international became the Gunners’ record signing when he arrived the Emirates from Real Madrid in 2013, but Arsenal and Ozil have been unable to agree on a contract extension during their talks over the last year. As it stands, the former Los Blancos midfielder is able to leave the club for nothing at the end of June, and will be able to talk about signing a pre-contract agreement with other clubs from January.

The German and teammate Alexis Sanchez find themselves in similar situations contractually, though the report goes on to claim the Chilean has “no intention” of committing to Arsenal by putting pen to paper on a new deal. Sanchez has been linked with Premier Leagues sides Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, as well as the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, according to Football Weeks.

He is all but certain to leave the club, though the report adds that Ozil’s situation isn’t quite so clear cut. Reports claimed that Sanchez recently turned down a new £275,000-a-week deal are claimed to be false, and Ozil has just bought a new house in London – meaning he is open to staying.

United boss Jose Mourinho has worked with Ozil at Real Madrid in the past – the European champions are another club the player would be interested in joining – and the two share a healthy relationship. While Ozil has revealed Mourinho once labelled him a “coward” in a dressing room row, the Portuguese wrote the foreword in a book recently released by Ozil.

Mourinho is open to signing Ozil to Old Trafford, though there is understood to be a little bit of reluctance on Ozil’s stance in joining the Red Devils, and is set to make a play for him as he looks to bring in a number of new additions for next year. Ozil would however consider a move up north.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are looking for more creativity in their midfield. They failed with several offers for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho in the summer, and Ozil could be seen as a more affordable option.