Mesut Özil has had a year of extremes. From becoming the first player of Turkish origin to win the World Cup with Germany to being lambasted for his performances for Arsenal this season. From being part of the FA Cup winning Gunners side that ended a nine year trophy drought to being sidelined for three months with injury.
The year 2014 has definitely been a memorable one for Özil. After a three months wait the record £42.5 million Arsenal signing is back and was given a 20 minute run out in the Gunners 3-0 win over Stoke City last Saturday but his first real test of 2015 will come on Sunday. Arsenal will take on second placed Manchester City who have not lost against the North London outfit in their last five league meetings.
Arsenal have managed to win four of their last five games without Özil starting. So why should he start?
1. How may I assist you?
Social media is awash with stories about Özil’s goal providing prowess. The tales of Özil’s assists may be getting boring going into 2015 and in need of some assistance especially considering he has only created only one goal this season. However, as the saying goes, form is temporary class is permanent and Özil’s assist record is pretty impressive. Last season the World Cup winner provided 14 assists in total and prior to his move to North London he had 81 assists in all competitions for Real Madrid. In total Özil has 157 assists, 69 goals in 399 games.
The 26-year-old only has one assist this season but he has only played seven games and most of them were out of position. His performances on the flank left many fans and pundits in dismay but he will face competition from in form Santi Cazorla for the central attacking midfield role.
Özil had Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on the receiving end of most of his assists at Real but with Alexis Sanchez in red hot form he will have an in form forward ready to convert his magic into goals. The Özil – Sanchez partnership is perhaps one of the most exciting partnerships in the league on paper but it still remains to be seen how this will play out in reality. Arsenal could do with their biggest weapons against Mancester City who have conceded the third fewest goals this season.