Arsenal’s squad seems certain to look much different in 2020/21 than it did in the previous season. The club have already acquired the services of winger Willian from Chelsea, and the presence of the experienced Brazilian will add another dimension to the Gunners’ attack. The signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille has also been completed, and the 22-year-old is expected to represent the future of the team’s back line. There are things, as well, which won’t change. One of them is Dani Ceballos, who has returned for another season-long loan from Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to pen a new deal and to see if there will be any further acquisitions, and to learn the names of the players who will be leaving the Emirates before the window is out. As for Mesut Ozil, he has already declared publicly that he won’t be among them.
The 31-year-old attacking midfielder is certainly no stranger when it comes to controversies. It’s now been over two years since he last played a game as a Germany international – the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the story of his fallout with Joachim Low and some of his teammates has been told many times. He was in and out of the Arsenal team early last season, with Unai Emery indicating at the time that he simply didn’t fit his tactical ideas. The appointment of Mikel Arteta may have given him some hope of regaining a place in the team, but towards the end of the campaign he was completely frozen out.
Nonetheless, Ozil is adamant about staying put until his £350,000-per-week contract runs out next year, and nobody can force him to leave. The club have apparently considered paying his contract out, a matter of some £18 million, but the current financial situation prompted them to drop the idea. So the question is, could Ozil earn his stripes again in his final season at the club and help his teammates achieve success?
At the moment, Arteta seems willing to give him another chance – he gave him a run-out in the friendly defeat to Aston Villa a few days ago, but providing Ozil remains fit, the first Premier League matchday squad this week should give a clearer picture.
If the player is here and on the payroll, it does make sense to include him in the plans for the campaign, as long as he is prepared to work hard. After all, this is one of the best players Arsenal have had in the last decade – on his day.
Will Ozil make a contribution in 2020/21?