Mesut Özil

Mesut Ozil 3

Mesut Özil is Arsenal's record signing after clinching a £42.4 million move on deadline day of the summer transfer window of 2013. Özil's star grew through standout performances at World Cup 2010. He earned a transfer to Real Madrid, where between 2010 and 2013 he provided more assists for club and country than Lionel Messi.

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Joe Allen of Stoke City and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal battle for possession during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Stoke on...

Arsenal put at risk in the ‘red zone’ by the lack of a commanding midfielder

It turns out the switch to a back three was not a magic bullet, after all. It is early days still, of course, but already the sense is that for Arsenal the move to the tactic du jour was just the 2017 version of their regular upswing in April and May. Nobody has monetised mediocrity quite so well: they are masters at stimulating optimism at just the right moment to maximise season‑ticket sales.