Player analysis: Mesut Ozil - the £42.5m record signing for Arsenal
A closer look at the Germany international who has been at Real Madrid for three years
Tuesday 03 September 2013
After an initially underwhelming transfer window for Arsenal, they have pulled off one of the coups of the window by signing Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil for a club record fee of £42.5m.
At just 24-years-old Ozil has an impressive 47 caps along with 14 international goals and has won silverware in Spain with Real Madrid and Germany, the country of his birth, with Werder Bremen. Before Bremen, Ozil was part of the youth set-up at Schalke 04 and went on to make 30 senior appearances for the club before transferring in January 2008 to Bremen following a falling-out with the Gelsenkirchen club management.
Ozil's impact at Bremen was immediate. After initially being charged with the task of filling the void left by Brazilian playmaker Diego, Ozil made his own name by scoring the winning goal in Bremen's DFB-Pokal cup triumph and helping the side reach the final of the last ever Uefa Cup.
Returning nine goals and 17 assists in the following season, his performances rewarded him with a call-up to the national side for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he started all of Germany's games and shared the top of the assists chart with four other players.
It was on the international stage that Ozil garnered interest from top European teams and even in a team as talented as Germany's the midfielder stood-out and was heralded as the next big thing and Real Madrid signed him for €15m in the summer of 2010.
His maiden season in 2010/11 at the Santiago Bernabeu brought a staggering 25 assists for the German, higher than any other player in any major European league competition, and further grew his reputation as one of the most exciting midfield talents in the game.
With his quick feet and outstanding technical ability, Ozil became a stalwart in the Madrid side during the 2011/12 campaign which saw the Spanish giants win La Liga under manager Jose Mourinho with Ozil again at the top of the assists chart, this time with 17. His form that season saw him nominated for the Uefa Best Player in Europe Award.
Arguably his most successful season, 2011/12 saw the midfielder's reputation grow even further following his inclusion in the Uefa Euro Team of the Tournament and the Uefa Team of the Year as his ability was recognised at both club and international levels.
Whilst still putting in strong performances for Madrid the following season with an equal number of league assists to Lionel Messi and maintaining his place in the side despite the arrival of Luka Modric, Madrid finished without silverware and Mourinho departed the club.
Gareth Bale's block-busting arrival this summer along with Isco meant that competition in Madrid's midfield would be fierce, even with the departure of Kaka, and the club needed to balance the squad as well as the books. His move away sees Ozil become Madrid's highest-received transfer fee and proved too good to turn down.
Despite his overwhelming talent, Ozil was in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in La Liga and his record-breaking deadline day move to Arsenal represents a fresh and exciting start in a different league.
With his best years ahead of him, Ozil could prove to be well worth the money, and the wait, for the Gunners.
Watch Ozil in action...
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