Does Arsenal actually need a replacement for Mesut Ozil?

Mesut Ozil could be on his way out of the Emirates, does he need replacing?

The latest rumours regarding Mesut Ozil is that he could be leaving for Fenerbahce on loan in January. If that transpires then expect a lot of media reports on potential replacements for the German.

But does Arsenal really need to replace the 30-year-old?

Unai Emery is not too keen on playing a system that requires a number ten and the Ozil role does appear to be a dying one.

Football has evolved and certain roles become less important and the number ten is one such role. It used to be a critical position, not so much these days.

But let’s assume that Emery decides he needs a number ten in his squad, does he really need to sign one?

Dani Ceballos, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli, Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and even Nicolas Pepe can play that role comfortably enough. None of them may be a specialist number ten, though Ceballos would be as close as you could get, all can do the role.

The speculation will be rife and headlines like Arsenal identify Ozil replacement will be splashed all over the Internet. That, however, does not mean that Arsenal actually needs or want a replacement.

I do not believe Arsenal will seek a replacement for Ozil, I feel they have enough back-up already. I also do not feel a number ten will play a pivotal role for Arsenal going forward.


  1. I don’t think the problem is a number 10, I think the bigger problem we should be trying to fix is bringing in someone as creative as Ozil used to be, or as creative as, Cazorla, Silva and De Bruyne.
    Then I don’t really care if he plays as number 8 or 10.
    What matters is injecting one absolute creative player in this team, because right now all this team reeks of is boring football, and we have some of the league’s best forwards.
    Can you imagine how interesting our games would be if we had De Bruyne behind our forwards,or someone similar.

    Now let’s be honest here, Smith Rowe is a very good kid, in case you don’t know, Smith is a fancy version of Aaron Ramsey going forward. His biggest strength is not his passing ability or creativity.
    He will come good as he gets more playing time.

    Kai Havertz of Bayern Leverkusen is one who can do exactly what Ozil used to do in his prime.
    Now like I said, I don’t really care if it’s a 10 or 8. WE NEED A CREATIVE MIDFIELDER!!

    1. Eddie-I agree totally with what you say.But has Emery any intention of playing a creative midfielder? I’m not sure that fits the pattern he wants to play.He seems to prefer 3 CDM in most games.
      And do you not think we already have the creative link in Ozil.I do.Its just this Manager is incapable of intigrating a No10 into the team as he’s too risk adverse.

      1. Phil, you know what I think of the man. My views on Emery since early last season are yet to change. Even Jon Fox if he’s here right now will admit I wasn’t wrong in speaking very early then. I told Jon I would support the team regardless and hope to see Emery turn things around and change, but till the season ended and this new season began, it’s been the same búllshït all over and over again.
        The man is just too negative and I won’t be scared to term his approach as a Coward’s approach.
        I’m not the only one who has used the negative on him, Ian Wright done say, Van Persie did admit to it.
        These are two of the very best footballers we’ve seen in this club. They know what they’re saying, they know the kind of approach they took in the league games.
        He’s shown he’s not on the same page with Ozil.
        Come on let’s be honest here, all these Ozil doesn’t play well or or others deserve it talk is simply hogwash. All just some excuse t weed him out because of his salary.
        If saying others deserves to play over Ozil, then the rest of the world must be stupid and insane to always point out that Xhaka should be no where near the team.
        He feels he’s wise enough as a manager. Throws Muatafi under the bus for poor performance without holding back, yet when fans let their frustrations about Xhaka known, he stood behind him and tell us fans to stay behind Xhaka and support him.
        Oh Xhaka is an Arsenal player who needs out support, meanwhile Muatafi plays for Chelsea? Ozil plays for Liverpool?

        I see the cowardice in him, I ain’t no manager, but I do have knowledge of the game and human relations, I’ve worked with different people. I’ve had to meet musicians who are basically clowns and frustrating enough, but I had to adjust and fix it up, help these musicians the best way I can. It’s why I’m the one behind the instruments and computer.
        It’s my job!

        Is he meant to protect some players like he protects the scrawny balls between his legs and treat others like crap?
        He ain’t gon do shít with a creative player I admit. Hell even with a better manager, we’ll play good and attractive football with this squad we have

        1. Eddie, Emery is a dog tail that’ll never straighten, and worse still is it doesn’t curl up but down and tucked between the legs out of fear. From the 6th game last season, I knew he isn’t for us, and now I wish I could just erase him out.

      2. It isn’t really true, though, is it?
        In my opinion you can discuss if Guendouzi is in fact a DM. He is generally playing deep, but to me he is a two way midfielder. Even Xhaka can be discusses if he is a DM.
        Anyway, even if go along with the theory, that they are mainly DM’s, we have played 8 games in the PL, and only in 2 of them, have our starting lineup been Guendouzi/Torreira/Xhaka.
        2 out of eight hardly make a majority 🙂
        If you the look at how we lined up in the Carabao Cup game and in the 2 EL games, it becomes 2 in 11 games, we have had, what you call 3 CDM’s.

    2. @Eddie Hoyte
      I think we miss a Santi type player more than anything. The ultimate pivot man who turns defence into attack on a dime, while at the same time bossing the midfield. Matteo looks like he has what it takes, but he just needs time. Wish he were two footed like Santi. Damn,I miss that dude…

      1. If Diaby had stayed fit ,him and Santi in that midfield would of been a dream pairing ,on their day 2 of the best I’ve seen do what they what do ,such a shame it never worked .

    3. Buy Christian erikson from totenham…he will come on a cheap as his contract is almost up and also he is one heck of a creative player…

  2. It Does not matter if we get a replacement for Ozil or any other attacking midfielder ,with Emery in charge we have no need for creative players ,aslong as they can run around flapping their arms and pointing to the ball that’s all Emery and some fans are happy with .
    I think it’s a complete waste him not getting any minutes this season .

  3. I don’t think there is room for a number 10 with Auba, Laca, Pepe

    I also think this is where some of the problem comes from. Emery is using a formation he doesn’t like

    Too many good players are in positions and roles that are not best suited to them

    Emery has compromised too much and seems to have lost site of how he actually what’s the set up

  4. //Dani Ceballos, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli, Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and even Nicolas Pepe can play that role comfortably enough//

    Really? Tell me you were being serious please!! The guys above can create goals for others???

  5. Why on earth would you need a remplacement for a player who is not contributing at all…As for the need of a number ten ,i think Emery tries to emulate Klopp in playing 3 DM but ,right now,he’s just a wannabe because he’s too conservative and reluctant to take risks unlike Klopp…

    1. You expect Ozil to contribute from the bench? Or even further away? Can you be objective in what you say?
      Emery can’t match Klopp even to the basic levels, so just give up on him

  6. You expect Ozil to contribute from the bench? Or even further away? Can you be objective in what you say?
    Emery can’t match Klopp even to the basic levels, so just give up on him

    1. sir, can you enlighten me with Mr Mesut Ozil’s contributions ( I mean winning for the team)for the past five seasons.You may exclude this season as he is not being played often.

      1. No no…this season is also his fault, just like last season. Let’s watch the videos of last season together and then break it down.

  7. We don’t need a replacement. All we need is a different kind / style of Attacking Midfielder.
    A normal type of attacking midfielder. One that is not one dimensional. One that does not need “This kind of player, this type of striker, that kind of winger, this type of DM, that kind of manager, this type of formation, that kind of weather, a certain kind of special love, this kind of support base, this precise length of grass on the pitch, this type of opposition team blah blah..

    Can we just get a normal attacking midfielder like we have had before The shirt selling Genius arrival in 2013?

    Please 🤞🙏

  8. No need, Ceballos or Willock has been used to fill that role. What use of a number 10 in Emery’s system anyway. He will be instructed to distribute ball to our fullbacks, in that case Xhaka is suffice. He played it safe, rather than through balls to our strikers, he prefers to attack through the flanks. This is 90% of our attack pattern so far: midfielders buy some time for fullbacks to advance, pass the ball to one of them, one-two with the wide forward, then cross the ball. The center forward attacks the ball and the other wide forward either do that too or collect the loose pass and restart the play. When is the last time we see a direct through ball?

  9. Said it before and will probably say it again but the only reason Emery plays 3 defensive minded midfielders is because our backline has been such a shambles 🤷‍♂️

    As for not playing a #10 not sure that will strictly be true either…. If UEL setup is our blueprint going forward then we will be playing a 4231,and yes I agree Ozil could fit right into the role once the team isn’t trying to compensate for the defence.
    Is he creative enough to make up for his complete lack of presence off the ball? Sadly not imo because whilst we don’t have anyone with the same vision as him, we do have people with enough creativity to get the job done who offer so much more to the team off the ball too.
    With the way the game has evolved everyone in the team needs to be playing a part in the defence and if Auba as a centre forward (the last guy you want doing so) can haul his ar*e back to help out there is no excuse for Ozil not to do the same.
    I wouldn’t rush out to replace him though as believe Laca, ESR and Ceballos could all potentially play in the hole too so would prefer to try them first, once defence is shored up and doesn’t need to play so deep.

  10. I don’t see any top team in England or in any other of the top footballing countries, that affords to play with a traditional number 10, who is/was a creative “genius” , but offers nothing or very little defensively. There doesn’t seem to be room for that type of player anymore.
    So going forward, I don’t think we will be looking for the “next Özil”, no matter who is managing the team.

    1. Saying no team plays with a traditional no10 whose role is to be the creative chief of the team is bullshit.

      Let’s examine some top teams no10 who plays similarly to Mesut Ozil
      Leicester’s James Madison
      Chelsea’s Mason Mount
      Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen
      Bayern Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz
      Sporting Lisbon Bruno Fernandez
      Everton’s Gylfi Sigurðsson et al
      Dortmund’s Julian Brandt
      Bayern Munich’s Phil Coutinho

      One thing common among these players is they focus more on creating chances for their team mates and are always on the attacking half of the pitch, without having the responsibility of tracking back always because they got a DM whose primary role is to win the ball back as quickly as possible.

      The major worry about some arsenal fans is they got little idea of some players role and pattern of football, you can’t expect everyone to have one specific playing style. As regards to the Ozil debate, have you all asked yourself if Ozil is been lazy in tracking back all the times why haven’t Xhaka, Torerria, Willock, Ceballos, Guendouzi been contributing to the attack alot?. All these players are unique in their own way and playing style, Torerria playing pattern is similar to Ngolo Kante which is to AGGRESSIVELY WIN THE BALL back for his team while that of Ozil is to FOFUS on creating chances/openings for his team mates.
      Please and please before judging a player look closely at what he does best which made him unique. Thanks

      1. Sorry, you misseed the point.
        I am not saying here are no creative midfielders in top teams. I am saying no top team plays with midfielders, that don’t work hard, once their team has lost ball.
        Big difference.
        I my opinion Mount, Eriksen, Brandt and Coutinho all have very specific defensive duties and hard work to do. As for the rest, I really don’t know, but they are hardly playing for top teams.

        1. When you say ‘work hard’ in what aspect please?, because I do know most no10 don’t have tackling as one of their best traits.
          Let me also point out that those no10 I mentioned earlier from today take a good look at their gameplay they are best in their opposition box and not tackling or running aimlessly in the pitch without any end product. We always complained of Ozil been lazy and not hard working but no one has looked at lingard of manutd who is so so good at running aimlessly without any end product, a midfielder of his caliber having just 4goals and few assists all through year2019 and we are in the 10th month of the year. No one be it pundits or fans are questioning his inclusion in their lineup all on the bases of been an Englishman and a hard worker.
          I’m no professional footballer but from my few times on the pitch I could tell that no one can excel both in creating chances and also tackling aggressively for the team because let’s be realistic he is human and no machine so therefore he would get exhausted easily before the game goes half way.

          1. Özils decline is well documented. After a good year in 15/16 he has gone downhill every year non stop. Every year worse than the one before. But to avoid any crap talk about Emery being the cause tc., I will do you the favour of showing the essential problem with 16/17 (a Wenger year) as an example by comparing özil to Eriksen that year.
            Games played: Özil 33/Eriksen 36
            Goals scored: Özil 8/Eriksen 8
            Assists: Özil 9/Eriksen 15
            Tackles: Özil 26/Eriksen 45
            Clearances: Özil 9/Eriksen 25

            And this was a year better than average year for Özil. Not only did Eriksen outperfom him going forward, but he took so much more part in the defensive work. It is hardly a surprise to people actually observing, what is going on, but those are the facts. Özil simply doesn’t work hard enough, when we don’t have the ball. And by the way, this is why Real sold him to us in the first place.

  11. We desperately need creative players capable of maximizing the potential of our forwards.
    Xhaka, Lucas T and Guendouzie are not that type of players Ceballos could be but he doesn’t get a consistent chance.

  12. Sorry for going off topic…

    I saw some comment saying Wenger left a rubbish squad for Emery but this same people defending Emery by saying “Emery is not Pepe who dribbled and then ballooned is cross over or Emery is not Sokratis showing us is wrestling skills or Emery is not Xhaka who love receiving yellow card and committing error or Emery is not this or that.

  13. Played Ozil…dropped him…or substituted him.
    Played Cebs…dropped him…or substituted him.

    The two most creative players we have and he doesn’t trust them to finish a game, because he is too worried about defending.

    It is obvious that UE doesn’t want creative players, so we don’t have to replace Ozil, just put the reported £350,000 a week back into kronkies wallet, send Cebs back at the end of the season and put his salary back into kronkies pocket as well.

    Then sit back and watch xhaka rally the troops, sokratis tackle as if it’s hell in a cell time and leno doing a cech impersonation of swan lake as he tippy taps to luiz who gives away another penalty…actually we’ve seen that anyway, with Ozil and Cebs still on the books, so, as far as I can see, it isn’t going to make one iota of difference when our two “No 10’s depart.
    Everyone will benefit from his going, then we can move on to discuss pepe being a waste of money after just eight games and/or why there are thousands of empty seats at the Emirates.

    1. Agree Ken. I honestly think that even George Graham’s team played more attractive football and at the same time didn’t leak stupid goals.Can’t get my head around the incessant tinkering going on. Emery showed his lack of class by publicly criticising one of his own players. Have you ever heard Klopp or Pep do that on National TV??

      I have always felt that he needed 2 seasons before being judged but I have changed my mind, I think the job is too big for him as was PSG.

  14. Sorry for going off topic…

    I saw some comment saying Wenger left a rubbish squad for Emery but this same people defending Emery by saying “Emery is not Pepe who dribbled and then ballooned is cross over or Emery is not Sokratis showing us is wrestling skills or Emery is not Xhaka who love receiving yellow card and committing error or Emery is not this or that.
    But have you ask yourself that is Wenger Mustafi who commit blunder or is he Giroud who misses most of his chances?
    Xhaka was brought in by Wenger but you can’t call Xhaka wenger’s dross anymore cos he is now Emery’s dross cos the last time I checked, he bought his own player in Torrerira and he refuse to use him. And moreso, he benches Wenger’s dross(Mustafi and Ozil) even though two of Wenger’s dross are the best player in our team.

    In the Europa league and Carabao cup, Wenger players was the most on the pitch and we have a good performance but no, Emery is the best, he drill them well. But when we have 5games against the mid-table team last season with us in 3rd position and yet didn’t qualify, it wasn’t Emery’s fault cos they were Wenger’s dross and drilled by Wenger.

    Hypocrisy and double standard at its best. If you blame Wenger for wasting 35m on Mustafi and wasting the club’s resources to assemble a disjointed squad for Emery to inherit plus Emery gets credit for Guendouzi’s performances. And when Luiz, Pepe and Sokratis (a combined fee of close to 100m if not over) and even Xhaka which he insist on are not being able to play well, whom should we blame? Oh wait I know, Wenger. Take the Wenger hate-shades off and argue objectively.

  15. Yes we need two a physical,athletic player in the mould of Thomas partey( dreAm buy) the other a cesc type ideally alongside the lines of a James Maddison ( dream buy but won’t happen due to redic English premium).a physical dominating centre half such as upemencano or bold & we’re cooking!

  16. I still wonder why some people believe a creative midfielder most have assist at all cost.
    It makes me wonder how many assist Inesta and Xavi has in there entire career and yet Inesta is a world class.
    The through ball to Bellerin from Ozil, from Geundozi to Chambers are creative enough to me.

    Moreso, Emery pattern of play(if there is any) gives our fullback more chance to have more assist than any of our midfielder/winger combine.

    Chambers assist this season proofs that, Bellerin assist last season proofs that.

    Check most of Bellerin’s assist last season and see who set him free to make assist… None other than Ozil

  17. What we have always missed is carzola …we started to struggle when he got injured. We need someone like him who is the heart beat of team like Xavi, Zizu although he played a bit further up. I was hoping in ceballos we have found some kind of replacement for carzola but the kid has long way to go if he is going to play that role plus he is on line so why waste time developing a talent for other club. Buy a deep playing proper CM who can control the game n knows how to link defence to attack …we are sorted then

  18. Who needs a sublime talent like Ozil when we have Granny Xhagger !………………………………………………….my tongue is so firmly in cheek that it is without doubt tantilising Count Emery`s blood sucking teeth as he arise from his coffin at dusk !

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs