Mesut Ozil still hasn’t signed a new contract with Arsenal and there is a chance that he could leave the club this summer or next.
If he goes Arsenal will need to find a player with similar creative ability to fill a massive hole.
The 28-year-old German playmaker made 44 appearances for Arsenal last season, scoring 12 goals and grabbing 14 assists. He is one of the most creative players in Europe, and it would be very hard for Arsenal to find a proper replacement, but here is a list with a few potential candidates…
1. Emil Forsberg
Currently at RB Leipzig, Forsberg is a natural winger with tremendous potential who could succeed at Arsenal, especially if Arsene Wenger continues to work on his new 3-4-3 tactical formation. Forsberg is known for his ability to cut inside and if Arsenal manage to keep Alexis Sanchez at the club, the duo would present a very dangerous threat for any opposition.
The Swede is valuated at around €40 million and has attracted the interest from Bayern Munich with his impressive performances. 242 assists in 30 Bundesliga appearances is impressive by anyone’s standards.
2. James Rodriguez
The Colombian playmaker never quite lived up to the expectations after his move to Real Madrid. The player is unhappy with his status in the squad and is looking for a new home this summer despite Zinedine Zidane’s efforts to keep him at the club.
Rodriguez wouldn’t come cheap and Arsene Wenger would probably have to break his transfer record bid in order to sign the player.
3. Ross Barkley
The engine in Everton’s midfield, and also a creative force in the side, Ross Barkley is very close to leaving the Goodison Park and Arsenal are reportedly interested in his services.
Barkley is still holding out on a new contract and is relishing the opportunity to step up his game and join one of the top English clubs. Ronald Koeman gave him an ultimatum to commit his future to Everton or leave the club but neither seem to have happened.
His price may go down due to deteriorating relationship with the manager and Arsenal could have a chance to get a very good player at a very good price.
4. Riyad Mahrez
The creative winger from Leicester City has again been linked with a move to Arsenal, but Chelsea have also shown an interest. Mahrez failed to build on his form from Leicester’s league winning season but still put in a couple of impressive performances last season.
Mahrez is valued at around £40 million and just like Forsberg he could fit perfectly into Arsenal’s new system. His 10 goals and seven assists in what can be interpreted as a poor season overall proves that he still has much to offer, especially if combined with a few top-class players who can convert the chances he creates.
5. Thomas Lemar
One of a number of Monaco players that could be on their way out this summer, Arsenal have been linked with a move for Mbappe and Lemar. With Mbappe determined to stay at Monaco, Arsenal could be looking to bring in his teammate.
The 21-year-old is adapted to play in a couple of forward positions and is a very valuable player. In 55 appearances last season for Monaco, he scored 14 goals and created another 17.
With his potential, he could dominate the Premier League in the coming years.
6. Jack Wilshere
Injury plagued Wilshere spent last season at Bournemouth and looked very good on the field before he suffered a broken leg in April. The story of his career, really.
He has the quality and drive to win games, but he needs to learn how to focus that energy better on and off the pitch. Wilshere could fill Ozil’s position, but it’s unclear for how long before he picked up another injury.