It’s clear that Mesut Ozil is a popular player among a large section of the Arsenal support, but you do wonder if his abilities as a player are now being romanticised because he’s been out of the team for so long.
When he was a first team regular and things weren’t going well he was regularly called out by the fans, but most things are remembered better through time when you forget about the negative things.
There’s a real possibility that he doesn’t take to the field in an Arsenal shirt again after he was left out of their Premier League squad, but there’s some interesting reading here in a report from Sky Sports.
It looks at Arsenal’s stats with and without him in the side, and this one from last season is pretty damning:
His fans will rightfully point to the fact that Unai Emery took charge of most of those games where he played, but it still shows that Mikel Arteta was able to do substantially better when he wasn’t in the side.
It doesn’t get much better when you break things down to an individual level, with his assists, goals and chances created all being way down on his previous numbers, while he’s also in the bottom half of the team stats for distance covers and sprints made if you want to take effort into account too.
It’s a shame to see him stuck in the stands just now and there’s no doubting that he’s done some amazing work when it comes to raising awareness for certain matters, but it’s also fair to suggest that Mikel Arteta has made the correct call here.
It’s also reasonable to suggest that he’s been treated harshly by the club and he could still have a part to play as a squad player, so hopefully he does get a transfer in January.