The future of Germany international midfielder Mesut Ozil has long been up for discussion, and further speculation throughout 2017 has seen more doubt cast over his club career at Arsenal beyond this term.
A move during the January transfer window has even been mooted, with the Gunners’ bitter league rivals Manchester United reportedly being the prime admirers of Ozil’s attacking attributes. The Red Devils were linked heavily with swooping for the German during the summer transfer window, but Arsenal retained their playmaker’s services into this current season.
Since then, the rumours have persisted and now Spain international attacker Juan Mata has been thrust into the situation, with a swap deal plus cash involving the creative spark being tipped to happen in the coming months.
But would overseeing the departure of Ozil to league rivals Man Utd in exchange for a suitably likewise playmaker in Mata, plus a substantial transfer fee for good measure, be a good deal for Arsene Wenger’s capital club?
Arsenal find themselves at 5/1 in the football betting odds to end the current Premier League campaign as the highest finishing London club ahead of rivals Chelsea and Tottenham. This may look a tough task at the present moment, but signing someone of Mata’s calibre could boost their chances significantly for the remainder of the season.
Mata is currently involved in a promising Man United side, one that looks seemingly capable of battling long into the top-flight season for the league title come next May. The fan favourite at Old Trafford has been a key part of his side’s early surge domestically, as they sit in an encouraging position in the standings at this stage of the campaign.
So would the Spaniard be willing to depart the club and arrive at Arsenal, while Ozil heads in the opposite direction to Manchester? There are, of course, positives and negatives for the Spain star in doing so in the near future.
Ozil has been linked with a reunion with former Real Madrid manager Mourinho for quite some time and such a move could soon come to fruition. Ozil has become a dividing character in London, with the German being a creative wizard at times, while also going missing throughout the season as well.
Mata, Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan 144841 by Станислав Ведмидь (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Mata would provide Wenger with an alternative but more hard-working option in the number 10 role, with the Spaniard not shy of getting involved in the dirty and defensive side of things of late. This wasn’t always the case, though, with Mourinho having previously overseen his departure from Chelsea when the pair worked together at Stamford Bridge because of his lack of work ethic.
Could Mourinho send Mata packing once again in his managerial career? Whatever the Portuguese boss would be letting go of would be Wenger’s gain, though.
The now 29-year-old has won everything there is to win in the game, so would bring a wealth of experience to Arsenal, on top of his attacking talents. With money seemingly involved in the mooted deal for Ozil too, this is a highly promising switch for all Gunners fans.