We should start looking for Ozil’s replacement now! by Lagos Gooner
Just some days after the transfer window shut, we started hearing stories of how Arsenal almost allowed Ozil to leave the club this winter. Stories were flying around on how a club was willing to take Ozil off our wage bill, only for Arsenal to stop it because the time was too short to find a suitable replacement for him.
It is a good thing that clubs are beginning to have a look at Mesut Ozil. Ozil should have left Arsenal a long time ago if some Arsenal fans had their way. His productive days are a bit over and his usefulness to any team should be his reputation as winner of many competitions. Mesut has paid his dues in football and I am sure even the owners of Arsenal know that a parting of way sooner than expected is inevitable. Now the question is; would the club be able to find a replacement for Ozil, once he is gone? The answer to me is yes.
Dani Ceballos was loaned to Arsenal last summer as an Ozil replacement. Unai Emery never fancied Ozil and he never hid the fact. He rarely used Ozil. So when Ceballos came to Arsenal, the gist then was that he was brought in so that we could gradually use him to reduce Ozil’s playing time at the club, and thereby letting him go at the end of the season. Dani started his Arsenal career well, but somewhere along the line he started fading. He is still very much here at the moment but I don’t think the club intends using him next season. The fact that Arteta prefers Ozil to Ceballos in his team, says a lot about how highly rated Dani is at the club right now. If Ceballos was in Arteta’s plan, I feel the club would have allowed Ozil leave this January.
Apart from Ceballos, Arsenal has some enterprising midfielders who are capable of making the fans not miss Ozil. We have Willock, who fortunately has found himself playing more often than expected. In recent games, he has shown how improved he is as a footballer and it won’t be out of place to allow him have a shot at replacing Ozil in the long run. He is skillful and he is a lad with a lot of energy. If Willock is to end up replacing Ozil, then I feel he should play more often this season. However, if the club does not see Willock as Ozil’s perfect replacement, then they should start fishing for Mesut’s replacement now and not wait until the summer.
We are Arsenal and we are proud.