Danny Murphy thinks Mesut Özil would be better off at one of Arsenal’s title rivals, such as Manchester United, Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur.
Murphy was talking to Sky Sports about Özil’s contributions in the big games, ahead of Arsenal’s match against Chelsea at the weekend. He said: “It’s easier to produce in big games if you’re in a good team,” reports the Express.
“I’ve always said would Ozil be better playing ahead of Matic and Kante or Dembele and Wanyama compared to Ramsey and Xhaka. It’s not a criticism of Ramsey or Xhaka because they’re attacking midfielders to me who are creative.”
When you break it down, this is the opposite to the usual line we get from pundits. The only reason Özil would do better in front of defensive midfielders is if it freed him up to focus on his creative output instead of tracking back to help defend. But according to most, Özil doesn’t track back and defend anyway.
Having more defensive midfielders behind the 28-year-old would probably help. But Özil also fits Arsenal‘s style of play and philosophy better than many of the other big clubs. In the end, we’ll hopefully never have to find out if the midfielder suits another Premier League team better than Arsenal, since he hasn’t so far been strongly linked to joining one.
With only a year left on his contract, this might start to become more of a worry as the season goes on, with Özil free to talk to foreign clubs in January.