Should Madrid have sold Di Maria to Arsenal and kept Ozil?

Angel Di Maria

The Germany international playmaker made a transfer deadline day switch from Real Madrid to north London, but will the Spaniards regret letting him go?

One of the standout deals of this summer’s transfer window came only hours before it closed in the form of Mesut Ozil’s move from Real Madrid to Arsenal. The Gunners absolutely shattered their club transfer record to bring the talented playmaker to England, while the Spanish capital city side recouped a sizeable amount of their summer splurging by selling Ozil.

Despite Madrid bringing Gareth Bale to the Santiago Bernabeu for a world-record fee and also signing talented youngster Isco this summer, will Carlo Ancelotti’s men regret letting Ozil leave?

The summer-long chase of Bale may well have overshadowed the importance that the German attacking midfielder has had at the Spanish club over the last three years. With the Wales international moving to Madrid, it was deemed that someone would need to leave to balance the books and avoid significant time on the sidelines. The fact that it was Ozil that left is certainly surprising.

Looking at Madrid’s new attacking unit, it is nothing short of mouth-watering. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Ancelotti has an enviable plethora of offensive talent to select from in the four forward-most attacking positions. Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale will certainly take two of the spots, with Angel Di Maria, Isco, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric vying it out for the others.

Although the talent of the afore-mentioned players is considerable – they are some of the best in the world, their attributes are all quite similar, apart from Modric. All the attacking players are blessed with fantastic physical abilities such as strength and speed, and all play a devastating quick, direct brand of football.

However, if Plan A of pulverising opponents into submission with the directness of their individually sublime forwards does not work, then what? Plan B is seemingly the introduction of creativity, craft and guile, and with Ozil leaving much of Madrid’s artistry departs with him.

Modric certainly has exceptional passing and creative skills, but with Xabi Alonso injured the former Tottenham may will most likely be used in a deeper position in central midfield. With Ozil leaving, Madrid no longer have a player of the German’s unique footballing inspiration to play in advanced positions, rather a host of direct individuals.

Maybe I will be proved wrong and Madrid will steamroller opponents on an unstoppable basis with their new superstar line-up, but letting Di Maria go and keeping Ozil would have ensured a more diverse range of attacking talents. With Modric the only artisan in the offensive group, if Plan A fails to come to fruition the Spaniards may pray they had someone with the guile of Ozil to call upon.

image: © jansolo09

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