So often has it been the case over the last few years that Arsenal have relied on the quality of Mesut Ozil to see them through tricky fixtures. While the Gunners star is frequently criticised for having little influence in the bigger games, there’s no doubting the former Real Madrid man’s importance at the club.
So Gooners are right to fear any talk linking their World Cup winner with a move away from the Emirates. But with that scenario looking more likely with every passing day, it’s time to start looking at the positives.
So how would Arsenal cope with life after Mesut Ozil? Ladbrokes News takes a look at why supporters needn’t worry…
There’s money in the bank for a replacement
“We can now compete with the financial heavyweights of the Premier League.”
That’s the rallying cry which has come from the Arsenal board over the last few years. And they’ve backed that statement on numerous occasions since Ozil’s arrival too, having parted ways with roughly £265m in seven transfer windows.
That’s almost £40m per window – or one world class player.
Ozil wouldn’t come cheap for potential suitors though, and Arsene Wenger will look to recoup as much as the £42m dished out on him as possible.
That would leave the Gunners with plenty of money in the bank to make a real statement in the summer.
Antoine Griezmann, James Rodriguez and Marco Verratti are just three names that have been linked with a move to the Emirates in recent weeks.
Any one of those names would be great acquisitions.
The future’s bright
And even if the Gunners were to invest said money elsewhere, there’s a ready and waiting replacement who’s improving week-on-week.
Recently named Africa’s Young Player of the Year, Alex Iwobi has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months.
He’s leapfrogged the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lucas Perez in Wenger’s first-team plans, and has stood out playing in Ozil’s number 10 role in the German’s absence.
And Gooners will consider themselves extremely lucky that Nigeria failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, as they’d have been in big trouble had they have spent a month without the 20-year-old.
A like for like replacement for Ozil? By no means, but as we’re approaching the contract extension period, Arsenal could do a lot worse than tying Iwobi down on an improved deal.
Negativity can be eliminated
Don’t get us wrong, of course you’d want to do whatever it took to keep players like Ozil at your club.
But there’s an argument to be made that anyone even suggesting that they’re considering leaving – whether they’re your best player or your reserve goalkeeper – should be sent packing.
No player is bigger than the club, and there’s always a risk that adhering to one star’s demands may negatively affect the rest of the dressing room.
If that’s the case with Ozil, then the best solution would be to let the player move on.
In doing so, the Gunners would be removing any hint of negativity, and would likely bask in the new-found team spirit.
So what do fans think? Should Arsenal do what it takes to keep hold of Ozil, or would they be better off allowing him to leave?
Have your say in the comments section below!
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