Over the years, Mesut Ozil has established himself as the most important member of the Arsenal squad. Having signed from Real Madrid for a record fee of £42.5 million in 2013, the German playmaker has been one of the stand-out performers in the English top-flight ever since he moved to London. Having played 137 times for Arsenal, Ozil has scored 29 goals for the Gunners and has been in contention for the PFA Player of the Year award almost every season.
And he has started this season on a similar note, having already scored 9 goals and assisted 5 more in the Premier League and Champions league combined. But with his contract set to expire in 18 months’ time, rumours have been doing rounds that Ozil could leave the Emirates over differences in the terms of the new contract. Arsenal will be at a huge loss if that happens, letting a world class playmaker slip away and hence should do everything they can to keep him. However, if it comes to that, we look at three signings that could help Arsene Wenger fill the void left by the German:
For quite some time now, Julian Draxler has been linked with a move to Arsenal, but nothing has happened on that front, despite serious interest on the part of the club.
The 23-year old German could fit the bill perfectly for Wenger, despite having a poor start to this year’s campaign with Wolfsburg. Draxler has failed to score a goal or get an assist in the Bundesliga this season, with his team struggling in the 15th place in the league. However, he enjoyed a stellar last season, scoring 11 goals and providing 8 assists in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League combined.
Despite the current struggles, the talent and abilities have always been there and under Wenger’s able guidance, he has could become one of the best playmakers in the game. He is fast, two-footed, has exceptional dribbling skills and is very strong in one-on-one situations and can be a great player for the Gunners if signed.
The Real Madrid playmaker has struggled for game-time under Zinedine Zidane and has been constantly linked with a move away from the Spanish capital, with many Premier Leagues monitoring his situation.
Isco is one of the most promising players around in terms of potential that he possesses and it hasn’t been utilised rightly at the Santiago Bernebau by Zidane. Despite having been used as a back-up to the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, Isco has managed to score twice and assist a further 3 goals in his 12 Liga appearances and has created 18 chances, third highest among the entire Madrid squad.
The 24-year old is highly creative and can pick a pass with surgical precision. His dribbling abilities are also quite brilliant and he always contributes with goals for his team. The former Malaga midfielder is always a step ahead with his excellent reading of the game and vision and can be a huge success at the Emirates.
Another player who has found it hard to get into the playing XI on a constant basis under Zidane at Real Madrid, James Rodriguez is one of the most versatile and highly gifted players in the footballing world at the moment. But with him continuously being overlooked by the Frenchman, a move away is always on the cards and Arsenal could benefit largely from capturing the Colombian captain.
25-year old Rodriguez set the 2014 FIFA World Cup alight with some stunning goals and was soon snapped up by Madrid, but due to a lack of game time and injury problems, he has struggled to establish himself in the Spanish capital. Under Zidane this season, James has appeared only 8 times in the Liga and 4 times in the Champions League and has one goal and 4 assists combined. The numbers, while ordinary, do not do any justice to the talents of James.
His pace and acceleration, his pinpoint accuracy and vision and the ability to create chances for his teammates are some of the standout features of his game. The technical ability on the ball that he possesses is quite amazing and is always a threat for goal from anywhere on the pitch and equally adept from set-pieces. With him in their ranks, Arsenal could turn into world beaters.