survived deadline day and managed to sign one of the best midfielders in the
world. And guess what he’s not Spanish, he’s German 😉
Özil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid and I’m pleased to say I was wrong with my
suggestion that we can’t seal such a deal. Mea culpa as the Italians would say.
I know you have been
bombarded with Özil scouting reports (did one my own over @Germangunners),
stats and facts about our new signing. But we are the German desk @Gunnerstown
so we are kind of poised to get you a closer look at him.
What I want to do is focus on
Özil’s development as an example for Germany’s excellent youth recruiting over
the last few years leading to what we can expect from him on and off the pitch.
So let’s get this thing started:
started his football career at Westfalia 04 in Gelsenkirchen. At the age of 13
he started playing for Rot Weiß Essen, a club with great history in the
Ruhrarea. It didn’t take long for the Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 to snap him
up and take Özil under their wings, and they gave him the opportunity to sign
professional terms at the age of 17. He started his first Bundesliga matches
and his talent was well displayed. After three years with the Gelsenkirchen
team Özil was transferred to Werder Bremen due to some differences with his
former club. That was the time where Özil due to a great manager in Thomas
Schaaf started to build the foundation for the kind of player he is now. Schaaf
trusted his ability to lead a midfield. Trust Özil deeply needs from his
managers as he pointed out just yesterday.
all that time Özil was part of the German youth recruiting scheme which
produced so many talents over the last years (Mario Götze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller,
Sami Khedira just to name a few).
Özil was part of the U21
which won the European Championship against England and was voted Man of the
Match. By that time Özil had to make a choice. A choice between the country he
was born and his parents native Turkey. A problem many German born Turkish
players such as Nuri Sahin or Ilkay Gündogan had to face during their rise to
Özil decided to play for
Germany as he was well integrated in what was the best environment to develop
into a world class player. It wasn’t a decision against Turkey as he has always
stressed. In 2009 Özil was nominated for Germany’s senior team. He was part of
every German team in any tournament since then being one of the best players
each year. He was voted German national team player of the year in 2012. Özil
has always been close to his family with his father managing him and not
getting carried away as the likes of Mario Balotelli or others. An attitude
which will fit in perfectly into Arsenal’s current squad I think. With Lukas Podolski
and Per Mertesacker he has two players he knows for years. Players he has close
relations to. Mertesacker was the captain during his spell at Werder Bremen.
Podolski has been part of the German attacking force for years.
what will and can Özil bring to this Arsenal team? As I stressed many times
Özil will be the brain in midfield. He will be deadly with Santi Cazorla and Jack
Wilshere by his side. He has the ability to decide a match in a heartbeat with
finishing himself or assisting others to do so. The greater picture for me is
the direction the club has taken by signing a player of Özil’s calibre.
Smashing the transfer record is one thing. Giving the club a whole new
direction is the other. Arsenal have always been a club looking for bargains
and telling the world we spend if we find the quality. The quality was always
there what was missing was the spending. A player like Özil changes the game.
Players like him are players the fans are wishing for. And having a player like
him (along with Santi, Wilshere etc.) in your side will attract other players of
We are still searching for a
centre forward and I’m sure we will be back in the market come January. If we
can keep up with the Premier Leagues hotshots, Özil’s signing will definitely
help to get a world class forward.
it for me this week. Have a good one.