Arsenal only have ONE nominated player for UEFA Team of 2013 - who?

Ozil Arsenal 5

Aaron Ramsey's superlative-laden form has gone un-noticed, as has the defensive prowess of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

There has been a grand total of 40 players nominated for this calendar year's Team of the Season, according to UEFA, which consists of four goalkeepers, and 12 players each in the defensive, midfield and attacking positions.

While Mesut Ozil - a marvel for Real Madrid in the first half of 2013, the subject of a successful £42.4m transfer to Arsenal and a mainstay in the German national selection - is perhaps a foregone conclusion in the mythical best XI footballers who compete in Europe, there are perhaps a few glaring omissions considering the fast emerging performances from a number of Ozil's team-mates in North London.

Particularly Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker who pose a formidable partnership when it comes to providing a shield for shot-stopper Wojciech Szczesny. Their strength is underlined when one ponders the following… Arsenal's current back five; Szczesny in goal, Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna in the full-back positions with Koscielny and Mertesacker in central defence have never lost a match together.

This has been noticed around Europe, too, when Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp identified the greatest threats posed by the Gunners and they were not attackers, but their central defenders.

Defenders who have been put forth for nomination in UEFAs 2013 Team of the Year include David Alaba, Giorgio Chiellini, Dante, Mats Hummels, Branislav Ivanovic, Philipp Lahm, Stephen Liechsteiner, Felipe Luis, Vincent Kompany, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva.

Are Koscielny and Mertesacker still really a level below the aforementioned?

Ozil, meanwhile, rivals Gareth Bale, Ilkay Gundogan, Isco, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Reus, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Yaya Toure and Bastian Schweinsteiger for a midfield position in the final XI.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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