Mesut Ozil’s time at Arsenal finally appears to be nearing an end.
The former Germany international has been out of favour at the Emirates for some time now, not featuring in a Premier League game since July 2020, and not even being registered in Mikel Arteta’s squad this season, with the Spaniard expecting a resolution on his future “in the next few days.”
“If something is sorted this month it is because it is good for both parties – for Mesut and for the club,” Arteta said.
“If that is the case we will move forward, if it is not the case then he will continue here. We will decide what is happening in the next few days.”
Initially, it looked like Ozil was moving to MLS outfit, DC United, who reportedly offered him the chance to expand his ‘M10’ brand across the United States. Now, it looks far more likely that he will join Istanbul giants Fenerbahce, moving to a city close to his heart.
Given his lack of playing time recently, it’s easy to forget just how much of a creative force Ozil was in some genuinely fantastic Arsenal sides, guiding the Gunners to three FA Cups as well as runner-up medals in the Premier League, Europa League and EFL Cup.
Join Football Index* in three steps:
- Head to the Football Index website using this link here and click ‘join now’.
- Enter your details, including a valid email address.
- Deposit funds to get underway and start buying shares.
*You have to be 18+ and Gamble Aware to sign up to Football Index. Values correct at time of writing 17:30, 06/01/2021.
So, to jog your memory, here is a list of every chance creation record currently held by Ozil.
Most chances created in a single season across Europe’s top five leagues
- Premier League: Mesut Ozil (146)
- Bundesliga: Kevin De Bruyne (112)
- La Liga: Xavi (124)
- Ligue 1: Dimitri Payet (135)
- Serie A: Andrea Cossu & Andrea Pirlo (125)
The 2015/16 season saw Arsenal come incredibly close to ending their long title wait, finishing second to Leicester City. In truth, had they added a consistent goalscorer to their ranks, they might well have overhauled the Foxes.
Ozil certainly played his part in the effort by Arsene Wenger’s side that year, creating a monumental 146 chances across his 35 Premier League appearances. A staggering 19 of those were converted into goals but while that is an impressive figure in itself, it leaves you wondering how the Arsenal forwards didn’t finish off more of those chances.
Most chances created in a single game across Europe’s top five leagues
- Premier League: Mesut Ozil (12)
- Bundesliga: Tamas Hajnal (11)
- La Liga: Jose Antonio Reyes (11)
- Ligue 1: Juninho Pernambucano, Nene and Ryad Boudebouz (12)
- Serie A: Hakan Calhanoglu (12)
When Arsenal beat Sunderland in May 2017, the 2-0 scoreline didn’t even come close to telling the whole story as the Gunners fired 36 shots at the Black Cats. Ozil created 12 chances on his own that day — one of which provided an assist for Alexis Sanchez — giving him not only the Premier League record, but the European record too. However, the latter is a record he holds jointly with a few players, including Hakan Calhanoglu, who repeated the feat for Milan against Verona back in November.
Most chances created in a Champions League and a Europa League game
Most chances created in a single Champions League game…
- Mesut Ozil – 12 (vs Tottenham Hotspur, 05/04/11)
- David Beckham – 11 (vs Olympiacos, 28/09/05)
- Francesco Totti – 11 (vs Shakhtar Donetsk, 16/02/11)
- Jose Callejon – 11 (vs RB Salzburg, 05/11/19)
- Ever Banega – 10 (vs Man Utd, 21/02/18)
Of course, Ozil was pulling off 12-chance games way before he joined Arsenal, doing so in the Champions League for Real Madrid back in April 2011. Gunners’ fans will be pleased to read he did so against none other than Tottenham Hotspur, helping himself to an assist along the way as Los Blancos thrashed the London side 4-0.
In creating 12 chances in a single game, Ozil moved ahead of then-record-holders David Beckham and Francesco Totti, who had provided 11 chances in single games for Real Madrid and AS Roma, respectively.
What other chance creation records was Ozil close to breaking?
While Xavi is the record-holder for most chances created in a single La Liga season (data recorded since 2003/04) with his 124 in 2008/09, Ozil occupies second and fourth place on that particular list, laying on 119 chances for Real Madrid in 2010/11 before managing 103 a season later. The 32-year-old is also third for chances created in a single Champions League campaign with 39, which he managed in 2010/11 — a truly stellar season for Ozil. Ahead of him on that list are Alex, Ronaldinho and Xavi jointly with 41 each, and Jerome Rothen.
Ozil also translated his creative exploits onto the international stage over the years. At the 2012 European Championships, the German was once again outstripped by Xavi, who created 25 chances, but Ozil’s total of 22 still places him fourth on the all-time list since 1980, with Dimitri Payet (24) and Kevin De Bruyne (23) sandwiched between the former Barcelona and Real Madrid men.
That total of 22 was helped largely by his terrific performance in the quarter-finals against Greece, where Ozil assisted the first and third goals of a 4-2 win for Germany, creating a total of nine chances for his teammates on the night. That total is only bettered at the Euros by Gary McAllister (vs Germany in 1992) and Wesley Sneijder (vs Denmark in 2012) who each managed to create 10 chances in a single game.