Can Ozil can be Arsenal’s Messi?

Lionel Messi

Arsenal’s deadline day super signing Mesut Ozil was, according to former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas, Real Madrid’s second best player last season.

However, whilst the former skipper may have a point, Ozil outperformed Barcelona’s best player – in assists, at least. The 24-year-old German playmaker arrives at the Emirates off the back of a season in which he scored 15 goals and made no less than 28 assists in all competitions for Real Madrid.

The Los Blancos’ archrivals Barcelona took the La Liga title in a sensational fashion with star player Lionel Messi scoring 60 goals in all competitions but making just 18 assists overall.

Fabregas himself is still nowhere near the German in terms of his creative attacking play; the 26-year-old midfielder managed 14 goals and 17 assists for the Catalans in all competitions.

In Europe’s top five leagues, Ozil has made the most assists – 47 in total – since his arrival at Real Madrid in 2010, equaling Lionel Messi’s tally and beating the likes of former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo (37), and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery (38) by a country mile.

In Mesut Ozil, Arsenal have signed undoubtedly one of the most creative players on the continent at present and, two years Messi’s junior, aged just 24-year-old the potential for his to become the best is promising.

In fairness, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo remain the best footballers in the world for their overall play, ability and for what they bring to the team in leadership qualities.

Arsenal’s most creative individual is Santi Cazorla – he added 12 goals and 14 assists to the Gunners’ campaign last term. Between Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, Arsenal recorded 54 goals and 40 assists.

Combined Arsenal’s four most attacking players last term scored 66 goals and made 54 assists. Add a player of Ozil’s quality to that and you’re potentially looking at an attacking five-some that is capable of creating 82 clear-cut opportunities to score for one another and that’s without taking into account the other six players on the pitch behind them at any given time.

Considering Manchester United scored 86 goals in the Premier League alone last term, Mesut Ozil’s addition to the Arsenal squad and first team is, as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho feared on Monday, enough to make the Gunners genuinely title challengers this term.

Whilst he may not be quite as mesmerizing as a player like Lionel Messi, the impact Ozil can have on the club can be just as powerful – imagine Barcelona without Messi last season, their 115 goals for in La Liga would drop down to just 55. Taking Ozil's 28 assists and 15 goals from Madrid's 103 goals would also have a heavy impact

Their contributions in terms of goals and assists are so important that without them, they would be literally half as good as a team. Arsenal already have a strong team without Ozil but adding him into the mix and suddenly the long-awaited title challenge is well and truly on.

image: © prettyfriendship

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