Opinion: 5 potential transfers for Arsenal to replace Mesut Ozil, including £80m No.10 and Belgian maestro

Mesut Ozil’s time at Arsenal is surely up – here’s who could replace him.

Arsenal face another big summer in the transfer market as new manager Mikel Arteta should get his first chance at putting together a squad more in his own image than the struggling side he’s inherited from Unai Emery.

The big question hanging over Arteta’s head will surely be on the future of Ozil, whose much-anticipated revival under the Spaniard has simply not happened, and probably never will.

The German playmaker was anonymous in the 0-0 draw at Burnley this weekend, and it came just after the Daily Mirror claimed Arteta was ready to let him go amid interest from Qatar on deadline day.

In the end, the only thing keeping Ozil at the Emirates Stadium was the lack of time needed to find a replacement, according to the Mirror.

That won’t be an issue in the summer, however, so we’re already taking a look at five ideal signings to fill that number ten role…

James Maddison

One of the finest creative players in the Premier League this season, James Maddison has been a big hit for Leicester City and can surely soon make the step up to a more established club.

This obviously seems a bit cheeky coming from an Arsenal blog when Leicester have been so much better than us this season, but you can perhaps forgive us for hoping it won’t last!

Earlier this season, the Daily Star claimed Maddison was an £80million target for Manchester United, but he’s since also been linked with Arsenal by Football Insider, who state Arteta is a big fan.

It’s hard to imagine a better player to come in and take both Ozil’s number ten shirt, and role in the team.

Jack Grealish

Another top English talent, Jack Grealish is enjoying an eye-catching season back in the top flight with Aston Villa.

The 24-year-old is another who can surely expect attention from big six clubs in the near future, and Arsenal should certainly ensure they’re in the running for his signature.

With creativity, flair and an eye for goal, Grealish has it in him to be the perfect long-term Ozil heir at the Emirates Stadium.

Thorgan Hazard

The younger brother of former Chelsea man Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard has been doing the business in the Bundesliga for some time now.

A similar style of player to his older sibling, Hazard has been a joy to watch for Borussia Dortmund – a club who don’t exactly have the best record when it comes to keeping hold of their star names.

Arsenal have signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Dortmund in recent years, and Hazard should be another worth looking at when it comes to replacing Ozil.

Hakim Ziyech

One of many impressive talents in the Ajax team that reached last season’s Champions League semi-finals, it seems only a matter of time before Hakim Ziyech is on the move to a more competitive league.

The Express recently linked the Morocco international with Arsenal, and if we aren’t in for him this summer, one of our rivals surely will be.

Capable of playing out wide or in a more central attacking midfield role, Ziyech seems ideal for our needs at the moment.

Christopher Nkunku

A talented young player linked with Arsenal by the Evening Standard while he was still at Paris Saint-Germain, the Gunners could perhaps do well to revive this deal.

The 22-year-old is now enjoying more playing time with RB Leipzig, and he looks the part, showing he can play in a variety of positions.

We shouldn’t be too put off by the fact that Unai Emery wanted him, as Arteta could surely do a better job of developing him anyway if a transfer can be done this summer.


  1. gotanidea says:

    Rather than replacing Ozil with another no 10, I’d prefer a winger who excels in one-on-one situations and duels

    The only wide attacker who can get past defenders consistently in EPL is Adama Traore, but he would likely cost more than 60 M in the summer and we would have to shift Pepe to the left wing

    Tierney showed that he could do it too as an attacking LB, so hopefully he can recover faster. Maitland-Niles showed some potentials as an attacking RB and I want to see him play in the middle like Oxlade-Chamberlain at Liverpool

    1. SAGooner says:

      The Ox in the middle? He was on the left last time I looked.

      1. RSH says:

        he is a midfielder for them majority of the time now.

  2. enda says:

    Grealish all day long for me

      1. ken1945 says:

        Same for me and he’s still young enough to keep on learning from Ozil when he signs a contract extension…if, of course, MA keeps selecting him.

        Don’t know if we could afford villa’s asking price though, or his weekly salary!!!

        1. Sue says:

          Yes, just a pipe dream!.

  3. stevo says:

    Arteta should not be allowed any transfers.
    Emery got to within 2 points of third without
    Bellerin Chambers Luiz Pepe Martinelli Tierney Ceballos Mari and Soares.
    Cech Lichsteiner Jenkinson Elneny Koscielney Mkhitarian and Monreal were well past their best. Iwobi was inconsistent and Wellbeck was useless.
    Yet despite having a garbage squad Emery achieved miracles.
    Now most of the deadwood has gone, 7 new players are on board Saliba is still to come .
    Why does Arteta need any more players? He already has a champion squad.
    Squealing for reinforcements after 8 games? What the hell is that all about?
    I thought he was hired to coach football.
    Buying more players is simply a sign of no confidence in the coach.
    Maybe he is a coach of cheese rolling, extreme ironing or toe wrestling?

    1. ahmad73 says:

      So we should bring Emery back instead? Okay got it!

      1. SueP says:

        Believe me, he would!!!

      2. Jack says:

        Stevo makes a very good point. Emery, in his first season in the UK, achieved a miracle – 11% higher points than Wenger’s last season despite defence decimated by long-term injuries; and reaching the Europa Final! AFTV-inspired protests – not so much about results but process i.e. flowing football – largely contributed to discontents and low attendance. Pre-season tantrums from then-captain Kos, knife attacks on Ozil and Kola, crowd booing of Xhaka, Mustafi etc. didn’t help either. There is one constant throughout this bizarre season though: Ozil the leech continues to bleed Arsenal despite contributing NOTHING on the pitch – [Saka has more assists AND goals than him!!!!]….and a master politician, he has been playing the crowd and AFTV to his advantage!!!

    2. jon fox says:

      Stevo, Are you actually in love with Unai? It seems so! Your constant hero worshipping of this clear failure is beyond merely strange and begins to look as if you have a personal attachment to him. I doubt that you have, in all seriousness but you are so completely out of step with virtually 100% of Gooner opinion that one must presume that either you are a troll, which I doubt, or that you have some sort of weird personal obsession with this clear failure, who never even learned the language. CARE TO EXPLAIN, PUBLICLY, WHY YOU ARE SO OBSESSED WITH THIS FAILURE?

    3. Sukiman says:

      Wenger managed to bring Champion league football with Berdtner and co

  4. Timie says:

    I will take Ziyech from the list. But I believe our scouting team can do better by sourcing for better talent

    1. Shakir says:

      Me too,HAKIM ZIYECH is way ahead in the list above

  5. AUBA_14 says:

    To replace Ozil, you need to get rid of Ozil first.

    1. Wole says:

      Kai Havartz, Suso too! Grealish, though, is my first take!

      1. Tony says:

        I would go for Ziyech’..
        Simply because he ain’t British, rather African and he’d last more with less injury!.

        But Grealish would suit AFC ideally.

  6. Andrew Elder says:

    Grealish for me, Madison will be too expensive. I can’t comment on the others, I’ve never seen them play. Mind you, being British, Grealish won’t be cheap so that might rule him out with the Kroenkes!!

  7. Sean Williams says:

    Maddison AND Grealish AND Todd Cantwell. We would challenge for the EPL.

    1. Top Gunner says:

      Just seeing Ozil in Arsenal shirts hurts. This guy is not a game changer. If times are tough, he can’t turn the screws on the opposite side

  8. SAGooner says:

    Time we stopped being shoved around in midfield. Grealish and Maddison will do it for me.

  9. Robindéboi says:

    To follow … MADDISON too expensive, GREALISH would be good. I like CANTWELL a lot too.
    I do not think that PEPE would be effective on the left, to make a difference with an opponent and his shot on goal would lose a part of his potential (not seen in France !). Similarly, MARTINELLI is more comfortable on the left than on the right.

    1. jon fox says:

      Robindeboi, Your English is obviously fine, so I wonder why you needed to post in French, on an English language site, previously?

  10. Robindéboi says:

    What will be interesting is to see how MA will use Ma-N. Like OXLADE?

  11. Robindéboi says:

    Attention please ! I sometimes have help with Google translation, this out of politeness towards you.

    1. jon fox says:

      Thank you for telling us how you manage so very well.

  12. jon fox says:

    I firmly believe that we will bring inone top central midfield creative player this summer. But no way will it be either Grealish or Maddison, extremely talented though both certainly are. THEIR FEES WOULD RULE BOTH OUT. Almost certainly we will get someone in who is currently playing “below the radar”, quite probably in South America, with Edu being heavily involved but definitely with MA’s blessing,and not otherwise.

  13. Grandad says:

    Suspect you will be proved correct JF.If money was plentiful I would go for Kai Havartz of Bayer Leverkusen,a wonderfully balanced midfielder who is already a regular in the German National side.Trade in Xhaka plus 40m to tempt Bayer.Unfortunately there are strong rumours on Merseyside that Havertz is Liverpool bound at the end of the season.

  14. Francis says:

    For me Freakish, Maddison will be so expensive… that guy is class

  15. Roshan says:

    Dominic Szoboszlai from RB Salzburg should be our priority.
    We could get him for approx $20m in the summer the year after he will be $50.
    He’s gonna be a star and what we need in the number 10 role

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