It was been confirmed that Arsenal’s club record signing Mesut Ozil will be out of action for 10 to 12 weeks with a knee injury.
While it appeared Arsenal’s injury problems could not get any worse, there £42.5 million playmaker will now join the list. Ozil, who played for the whole 90 minutes in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend, has a partially ruptured collateral ligament in his left knee. The German international had complained of discomfort following the London derby, but it was unclear how serious the injury was. This is not the first injury Ozil has suffered since joining the North London side. He was forced out for a month in early 2014 due to a hamstring injury.
Things have gone from bad to worse for Arsenal, as well as Ozil, who has endured a tough start to the season and life at Arsenal in general. This comes just weeks after rumours began to circulate linking him to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, who reportedly made an enquiry over a possible deal to take him back to his home country.
Struggling to adapt
Since joining Arsenal last year, Ozil has made 31 appearances for the club, scoring six goals – not a great tally, but the World Cup winner is better known for his assists and the creativity he provides to the team.
After proving his talent at Real Madrid, his move to Arsenal has not been quite as smooth as either party would have hoped. Whenever a foreign player moves to the Premier League managers seem to jump on the bandwagon and hammer on about how they need time to adapt to a different environment, but is that just an excuse to protect their players who fail to hit the ground running?
Ozil has joined from La Liga, which has been fiercely contested by two teams over the years; a league not best known for its physicality, especially when compared to the Premier League. Ozil clearly hadn’t adapted and is still struggling to do so a year on. I believe he lost his competitive mentality whilst in Madrid, were he was winning the majority of games by comfortable margins. Whereas now he is in a much more competitive league, where he has to fight week-in-week-out. He looks short of confidence too, however, he has shown glimpses of brilliance.
People often call to ‘give them a year to adapt’, but look at players like Eden Hazard, who signed from LOSC Lille, Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, or even Angel Di Maria, who joined from Real Madrid. They were all in the same position as Ozil, yet they all had solid starts to life in England and it makes me wonder whether the problem stems a little deeper with Ozil.
Nobody likes to see a player side-lined by injury, but what exactly does this mean for Arsenal? I believe that Ozil’s absence may allow Wenger to add a little more pace into the starting eleven. Arsenal looked short of ideas at times at Stamford Bridge. By filling Ozil’s spot with somebody pacey it would give them a greater chance of breaking teams down in their upcoming games.
Duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski, who both came on from the bench at Chelsea, could come into the side. There are murmurs that Theo Walcott, who has been out of action since he tore his cruciate ligament against Spurs last season, could make a comeback in the near future.
Although an injury to their record signing will no doubt be a blow, Arsenal can find positives in the situation. While there is no denying his skill and talent, Ozil has often looked uncomfortable in an Arsenal shirt; far from the player we know he can be. With him out of the picture, somebody else will get their chance.