As a former FIFA World Cup winner and Galactico, Mesut Ozil has seen it all in the game of football. Some viewed the German’s move to the Emirates as a step-down but he saw it as an opportunity to work under a manager he truly respected in Arsène Wenger. However, those days are gone and Ozil now finds himself managed by someone completely different in Unai Emery.
From day one it was clear the Spaniard and German weren’t going to see eye to eye and now a year and a half later, things only seeemed to have gotten worse. Despite being fit, Ozil, one of Arsenal's highest paid players, has only featured twice this season. It’s not just that he’s been dropped from the starting XI, Unai Emery hasn’t even included him in the matchday squad on seven occasions. Now, Arsenal are paying for those decisions and it could be time to make an argument for Ozil to feature in Emery's plans, for the best interest of the club.
Here are three reasons why Arsenal need Mesut Ozil in the starting XI.
#3 Lack of Creativity
Since arriving at the Emirates, Unai Emery’s main source of chance creation has been through cutbacks into the box. The Spaniard likes his teams to work the ball wide, allowing his full-backs to overlap constantly. His reliance on this method has frozen out Mesut Ozil, as he refuses to play through the middle. Regardless, his over-reliance on this method has proven to be strategy that oppositions are often prepared for.
This season in the Premier League, on average the Gunners have only created 10.2 chances per game. In comparison, Manchester City has averaged 17.2 chances per game. Despite only playing 71 minutes of league football this season, Ozil is still the club’s seventh most creative player. His teammates are clearly struggling without him and have only 13 goals in the league this season. The only reason Arsenal are in contention for a place in the top four is the goalscoring form of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, a world-class striker who has been feeding off scraps in a team crying out for creativity.