Mesut Ozil has been one of the hot topics of discussion not only among Arsenal fans, but among football followers around the world.
One of the best playmakers in the world, the Germany international has been painfully underpar in his performances for the Gunners so far this season.
The 25-year-old was once again anonymous on Tuesday, when Arsenal took on Borussia Dortmund in their opening Group D clash in the Champions League at the Signal Iduna Park.
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Ozil’s performance in the North London club’s 2-0 defeat was disappointing, although being deployed out wide did not help the former Real Madrid man either.
Many former footballers and pundits have tried to come up with answer to the German star’s insipid displays, and former Chelsea star Michael Ballack too has given it a shot.
'I don't really know what's happened over the last year since he moved from Madrid to Arsenal’, he told Sky Sports. ‘A player like him with his ability should have tried to stay longer at Real Madrid. That is my opinion...
‘If there is some ups and downs (at a club) you need to fight these things. And now it's a little bit of the same situation. He got criticised here (at Arsenal), he's not at his best but I don't see a reaction.
'A player like him with his ability should show a reaction but he never was the strongest player in terms of fighting, body language. That's his weakness - especially in these situations now when he can't use his technique and his vision’.
Ballack’s comments about Ozil not joining Arsenal last summer will come as a shock to many. Although the 2014 World Cup winner was a key player for Los Blancos, the arrival of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for a world-record transfer fee of £85.3 million saw Madrid willing to sell him to balance their books.
Arsenal were prepared to pay £42.5m for Ozil, who was told that he will not be guaranteed a playing time. And he left for the Premier League club.
Former Germany international midfielder Ballack’s observation that Ozil does not show enough fight and competitiveness on the pitch when things are not going well will have been made by many.
Perhaps Ozil is simply not that kind of a player.