Arsenal has reportedly locked up Mesut Ozil to a ‘massive’ deal and turned him into the No. 10. Here are five massive takeaways from that, if the stories are true.
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Arsenal, Mesut Ozil(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Arsenal’s only stresses lately have consisted of prolonging the stay of their stars. The Gunners are enjoying their football, everyone is contributing equally, not just Alexis and Mesut Ozil and it’s really looking like more than just a pipe dream that the Gunners could keep pace with the heavy-spending teams in England and win something.
Still, prolonging the contracts of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez has been a major priority that is weighing on everyone’s mind. Particularly Mesut Ozil, who, in and of himself, ended the drought days of the Emirates.
It’s not hard to remember deadline day not so long ago in 2013 when, literally out of nowhere, reports were pouring in that Arsenal were linked to Mesut Ozil. One could be forgiven for not believing it, seeing as how these links happened all the time and they continue to to this day.
But the deal happened and, just like that, Ozil issued in a new era of Gunners’ football. He bought into Wenger’s vision and set forth with righting the ship that had been so rocked upon the building of the Emirates.
However, that time is winding to a close with no major trophies yet in sight, meaning that the questions surrounding the futures of these superstars are legitimate questions. These aren’t Wenger products that owe their career to anyone. These are pre-established superstars that would be welcome anywhere.
Finding a way to lock them in for the long haul has been the task, but it seemed likely that no deal would be done until more was shown by the Gunners in terms of forging a legitimate threat in the Premier and Champions League.
Despite all that, reports are coming in from German publication BILD that Ozil has latched onto a new ‘mega contract’ that will see him locked in for the long haul as well as being the recipient of a new No. 10 kit.
With all that in mind, let’s get digging into some of the major takeaways, assuming this story is true. We will start with some skeptical takeaways.
Don’t get me wrong, I am totally thrilled that Mesut Ozil has supposedly signed. I have said it before and I will say it again, Ozil was much more crucial than Alexis. But that doesn’t mean that Alexis isn’t crucial. And by that standard, it always felt like the two would be in this together. Like a package deal.
One stays, they both stay. One leaves goes, they both leave.
Assuming that to be the case, if Ozil’s new contract is true, would it therefore mean that Alexis is less convinced than Ozil of the direction that this club is going? Is he not a believer?
It’s no more than a conspiracy theory at this point, but there is no denying that if Ozil signs and Alexis doesn’t, there are going to be some huge questions, so I am just getting them out of the way beforehand.
I don’t think that this is any reason to go crying out that Alexis is leaving, but it is bothersome that premature reports indicate that Ozil has signed while Alexis, who was more of a doubt, has had no such links.
Speaking of ‘what about that guy’ questions. What about that other, other guy?
Jack Wilshere has not kicked on as well as we might have hoped. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
4. What about Jack?
I know right? Can’t I just be positive? Surely there aren’t that many negative takeaways from Ozil signing a new contract.
Well, these negatives do come to mind, but they will never amount to the positive that is Mesut Ozil committing himself to North London for the long haul.
That being said, Ozil snagging the No. 10 shirt has major implications. That has been Jack Wilshere’s number for a few years now and I’m sure he will be less than thrilled to return to the Emirates next year with a new number on his back.
Which leads to the inevitable question. Is Jack still coming back? Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn claims that the English midfielder could stay with the Cherries, and while that was largely dismissed as moot, surely this number change lends even the smallest credence to his claim.
Whatever the case, it’s safe to say that Ozil has earned the right to the prestigious number and Jack really can’t have much argument at that.
Enough of the pessimism, let’s talk some of the massively positive takeaways of Ozil staying put.
It’s kind of the point of a contract, no? To commit yourself to a team and dismiss all exit rumors? While we know the exit rumors will never go away and while we also know that sometimes contracts don’t mean anything (Pedro…), at Arsenal, things are different. Wenger would not be willing to give Ozil a new contract just to sell him. And I don’t believe Ozil would be of that ‘make me easier to sell’ mindset either.
So let that sink in. Ozil is going to be here for a long time to come.
It may have taken the German maestro about 18 months to get settled in to life in North London, but once he did, the results were magnificent. 19 assists in a season, his very own hash tag and a cult following. Ozil has become a sensation in North London and, based on these reports, he is not keen on leaving that behind.
Until we hear otherwise, let’s all just take a moment to bask in the victory that is the extension of Mesut Ozil. Long may he prosper in this midfield.
Moving on from that, we have more nice things to say about Mesut.
(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
2. Ozil wasn’t lying
Anytime someone comes out and says “I am happy here. I leave all talks up to my agent”, people know what that means – absolutely nothing. It’s a fluff statement that means a whole lot of nothing. Everyone uses that line.
Players always talk about how much they love a place and how it’s like home, but then the next year they leave. It’s all a publicity stunt to get the press off their back.
Not with Ozil. Ozil was a frequent user of those lines. Even my least favorite line about how “you never know what the future holds”. That one always got me worried.
But Ozil always did talk about how much he loved it at Arsenal. Yet no matter how much he said it, there were always lingering doubts.
We have no further reason to doubt, if this contract is legitimate. Ozil was clearly never lying and actually does love it here. Everything about it. He is a superstar that could go anywhere he wants, but he wants to be nowhere but right here.
Part of what brings players to North London these days is their ability to see and believe in Wenger’s vision. Alexis, Ozil, Xhaka and Cech have all cited, in one way or another, the vision that Wenger has and that they bought into it. There is just something different about Arsenal.
But not everyone sticks out that vision. Take Robin van Persie for instance. Many supporters, too, are wondering if that vision is a bit clouded nowadays.
Well, if Ozil is believing in that vision and buying into it, then who should doubt him? Ozil has a supreme footballing mind. No one has clearer vision than Mesut Ozil. He sees everything. If he sees merit and promise in Arsene Wenger’s plan to dominate the footballing world, than there should be no more doubts. You can’t doubt Wenger if Ozil has faith in him.