Mesut Özil: Will Arsenal get rid of the once best German footballer?
Too bad, too expensive: Will Arsenal get rid of Mesut Özil?
A few weeks before the start of the English football season Mesut Özil is highly motivated in the USA. But his future at Arsenal is again speculated. Does the club want to get rid of its top earner?
In the Californian sun, Mesut Özil was in a good mood these days. With the Arsenal FC, the former German football player is currently on a US tour, where he meets on Thursday in the International Champions Cup on Bayern. On Monday, Özil posted a photo on Twitter, showing him laughing in the best of weather during a training break in Los Angeles. He was "happy to be in LA for the season preparation," Özil wrote. "The first training session has already been completed."
High motivation and identification
At the beginning of the month, Özil proudly presented the new Gunners jersey. He also tweeted a picture at the start of the training. There is no lack of identification with his club. And just like last summer, the 30-year-old is highly motivated just four weeks before the start of the new Premier League season. Nevertheless, there are questions about the future of the controversial midfielder, whose contract will run until the summer of 2021.
A year ago - not long after the uproar over the Erdogan photos, the messed-up World Cup and Özil's sensational retirement from the DFB team - everything looked like a restart with Arsenal. The new coach Unai Emery secured support to Özil after his turbulent weeks, and even sent the 2014 World Champion captain on the field. But the mood tipped.
From the environment of the association was to hear tensions between Özil and Emery. Several times, the coach left the midfielder, who was considered set under predecessor Arsène Wenger, on the bench. Sometimes Özil was hurt, sometimes Emery said other players were more appropriate. On demand, the Spaniard responded annoyed.
The season ended with a double disappointment. In fifth, the Gunners missed again the Champions League. The final of the Europa League was lost to Chelsea with 1: 4 - and Özil had his share of it. "The big games bring out the best in big players," wrote the "Telegraph" afterwards. "It was not like that at Özil, he did not look like a player like that, and at the age of 30, the German former international may never be there again."
Probably that is why British media speculate that Arsenal wants to cut its top earner, who is to collect the equivalent of around 390,000 euros per week, from the payroll. There was never any confirmation. Should Arsenal Özil really want to get rid of the club, however, there are two problems: First, Özil does not seem to have the intention to leave London. Secondly, there is no serious prospect after a season that has been broken again.
In winter Inter Milan was considered a potential buyer, most recently the Turkish first division Fenerbahce Istanbul, the alleged plans of a commitment Özil but now denied. This is not possible "under the current economic circumstances" - "for both," wrote Fenerbahce. Sporty would be a change for Özil probably not too attractive. Fener finished last season in sixth and is thus not even qualified for the Europa League.
On Monday, also the former Arsenal professional Marc Overmars interfered in the debate. The current sports director at Ajax Amsterdam recommended his ex-club in the newspaper "Algemeen Dagblad" to get rid of Özil, and for Ajax professional Hakim Ziyech to sign. "I find Hakim better than Mesut Özil," said Overmars. "I'd say sell it, and you'll get Hakim for half."
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