Apparently, Arsene Wenger has all but admitted defeat, regarding his attempt to keep Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal. However, when it comes to Mesut Ozil, Wenger appears to feel he has a ghost of a chance of retaining this particular out-of-contract star, which is an apt metaphor given the way the German appears and disappears on the pitch.
In my mind, there are a number of reasons why Ozil might stay and I’ve numbered them for your convenience:
- There hasn’t been significant interest in Ozil’s signature. Some might argue and say Man Utd are interested in the German, but it doesn’t seem as if clubs are lining up to sign the German. You’d have to say, Ozil is not as in demand as Sanchez, who could go to Man Utd or City. Additionally, there are plenty of clubs overseas ready to sign the Chilean, including PSG and Real Madrid.
- Ozil may not want to live in Manchester. Although the north-west of England has it’s good points (it’s cheaper than London and you don’t have to say ‘the’ if you live in West Yorkshire – only joking!), London is hard to beat if you’re a famous footballer. In London, you can wander around and most people won’t bother asking you to sign autographs and so on. It’s an easy life. You can enjoy your riches in relative anonymity.
- Talking of an easy life, how much easier can it be than playing for Arsenal? You’re not under the same pressure you would be at Manchester City, where they are expected to win trophies. At Arsenal, finishing fourth is considered a real achievement. If you want to smoke at Arsenal, that’s fine. In the past, Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere have been photographed puffing on those white sticks that show how blind you are to the fact that you are turning your lungs black and destroying your stamina (which is essential for a footballer). You can even go out and party before matches, if you want. Recently Alex Iwobi was photographed at a party and out until the early hours of the morning before an FA Cup clash that Arsenal lost. Iwobi was back in the team for the next game against Chelsea in the League Cup, so what does that tell you? Anything goes. My guess is Ozil might opt for an easy life.
- Once Sanchez leaves, Ozil will be top dog at Arsenal. If Ozil joins another club, he may find that he has to earn his place in the team. Not only that, but he’ll have to find his position in the pecking order. At Arsenal, Ozil could virtually have his own dressing room, if he insisted, with the shape of a star on the door, a la Hollywood.
- At Arsenal, Ozil has a number of German speakers he can converse with. Of course, behind the scenes there is Jens Lehmann, while still playing is: Per Mertesacker and Shkodran Mustafi. Even the manager can speak fluent German, so Ozil must feel at home, to some extent.
Therefore the big question is will Ozil trade all that in for a big money move elsewhere. My guess is don’t bank on it!