Mesut Ozil was never the same after “one of his most favourite players” left the club in 2018

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The agent of former Arsenal player Mesut Ozil has revealed that his client wasn’t the same after Santi Cazorla left the club in 2018 to go to Villarreal, which ended up having a detrimental effect on the German international’s performances for the Gunners. 

Speaking to Arsenal Fan TV via the Daily Mirror, Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut stated: “He had Santi for a while and he loved him. I think probably one of his most favourite players. Mesut is a smart, intelligent player, he reads the game and he is always looking. He loves to play with intelligent players.

“If you’re a No 10 the one in front of you and the one behind you, a good striker and good No 6 who cleans it up and sees you and plays you the ball so you can give the final pass. Santi is very smart, very intelligent and has great technique and that suited Mesut a lot to have him behind him.

“When Santi left you could see it wasn’t the same anymore, right away it changed.”

Ozil has long been an admirer of Cazorla, which can be traced all the way back to 2015. The Spaniard was named Arsenal’s Player of the Year in 2015 and Ozil was full of praise for his teammate after receiving the accolade. The Daily Mirror states that Ozil said at the time:

“I think he’s been excellent this year. We’re very happy to have a player like him in our ranks. He’s very good on the ball, as we all know, and is now very defensively strong too. I think we’ll have lots of enjoyment with him over the years because he’s a creative player and it’s a lot of fun for me to play alongside him”

Ozil and Cazorla spend five years together at Arsenal, with the German accumulating 184 appearances for the club and the Spaniard playing 129. The pair are two of the best players to play for the Gunners in the last decade and it is not a surprise to learn the effect the departure of the magician, that was Santi Cazorla, had on his former teammate.

Ozil left the Gunners in 2021 to join Turkish side Fenerbahce after falling out of favour with current manager Mikel Arteta. The German international lacked form and consistency towards the end of his time in North London, and we may now have learned one of the reasons why.

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