With each new game and each almost-inevitable star-turn, Real Madrid’s decision to sell Mesut Ozil to Arsenal makes less and less sense.
Given the summer arrivals of Isco and Gareth Bale, someone was always going to have to make way. But the fact that it was the mercurial German smacks of change for change’s sake, of world-record cheques being written as much for the headlines they generate as the players they secure.
Already in possession of Cristiano Ronaldo, did Real really need Bale? Does he make them a better side, given that the Portuguese forward does what Bale does better and more consistently?
And while Isco has shone in his brief spell at the Bernabeu, Ozil has shown in his equally short time at the Emirates that he is nothing short of world-class.
With the fall-out from another transfer window well and truly settled, one thing is clear – the £42.4million signing of the 24-year-old was an outstanding piece of business.
For less than half what Real paid for Bale, Arsenal got a player who transformed them over night; while the Spaniards signed someone who does not make a great deal of difference given the men already at their disposal.
The outcry was loud and long from those Real fans questioning how Ozil could ever be sold, let alone for what has turned out to be something of a bargain.
Some may not agree, but I would suggest that if world-record fees are being discussed it would make more sense to attach them to Ozil than to Bale.
Of course the amount paid for a player directly equates to the need of the potential buyer and the desire of the seller to part with them. But while Real have not suddenly capitulated, they have already dropped five points since Bale’s arrival.
By contrast, Ozil has made Arsenal look like the side they have threatened for so long to become.
Arsene Wenger has already admitted the Ozil deal was too good to turn down. And while Real ultimately got the men Florentino Perez was so desperate to deliver, that statement from the Gunners manager says it all.
It is quite telling when you spend over £40million to acquire something and still cannot believe your luck.
image: © Ronnie MAcdonald