Ex-Tottenham star 'is the new Ozil'

Tottenham V Arsenal Modric

Former Tottenham star Luka Modric has been praised for filling the void left by Mesut Ozil, who departed Real Madrid for Arsenal.

Luka Modric departed Tottenham for Real Madrid two summers ago, and just months into his tenure he was being unfairly written off as a flop.

Readers of Spanish newspaper Marca decried him as the worst signing of the season the January after he signed, after a difficult opening few months at the Bernabeu.

He begun to turn his fortunes around in the latter half of the campaign, scoring a crucial goal at Old Trafford to help KO Manchester United from the Champions League.

This season he has been at his best, playing a key role in Real's battle for the La Liga title, which until two successive losses to Barcelona and Sevilla, had appeared on course.

The Croatian has stepped up with Sami Khedira out injured, and become a mainstay of the side.

So much so that German magazine Kicker has devoted an article to the 28-year-old, declaring him as 'the new Ozil' in Madrid.

They refer to the Arsenal playmaker who was controversially sold last summer, who was the creative fulcrum of Jose Mourinho's side.

The article reads: "Mesut Ozil was the darling of Real Madrid's fans, but today he is departed and forgotten, replaced by Luka Modric.

"Modric is not so much a media and marketing attraction as well as other interesting Galacticos, but he is immensely important for Real's game.

"He has increased the number of assists compared to last season, has a dangerous shot, and has a more accurate pass than Xabi Alonso."

Luka Modric to date has just the one goal for Real Madrid this season, in addition to six assists.

In his final season at Real, Mesut Ozil contributed nine goals and 13 assists.

The ex-Spurs man therefore has a long way to go if he is to emulate Ozil in terms of production, but the lack of direct goal threat comes via his deeper lying role, compared to the Arsenal man.

Ozil has been criticised at Arsenal for not scoring enough goals, but Modric was even less prolific in the Premier League, his strengths lying in his passing and dictating the play from central midfield.

That is how he has continued at Madrid, blossoming under Carlo Ancelotti this season, completing an impressive 90.3% of his passes in all competitions.

Whether he ends up held in the same esteem as Ozil, or higher, will depend entirely on whether Real are successful in their title chase.

Presently three points off leaders and rivals Atletico, should Modric be part of a team which has failed to win a trophy for the second successive year, the pendulum of fickle public opinion in Spain may begin to shift in the opposite direction once again.

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