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Why Ozil could be the answer to Man United’s midfield issues

| 14.03.2017

They’ve come out of nowhere in the betting, but suddenly Manchester United are 2/1 favourites to sign Mesut Ozil, with 5/2 for the deal to be done as early as this summer.

And he could prove to be the missing piece in the Red Devils’ jigsaw, with Jose Mourinho’s men again failing to dominate in attack – now winless in three games, having scored just twice in the process. Here’s why…

Mourinho gets the best out of him

Mesut Ozil isn’t enjoying the best of times at Arsenal right now. He hasn’t scored since December 10, and has contributed just one assist in 2017.

However, while Arsene Wenger isn’t getting the maximum out of the German midfielder at present, there is one Premier League manager who proved time and time again that he could do just that.

Under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, the 28-year-old chalked up an astonishing 81 assists and 29 goals in 157 games from attacking midfield, winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey along the way.

And while Arsenal fans have often found the former Blancos man to lack presence on the big occasion, he netted in a Champions League Semi-Final, a Copa del Rey semi and four different Madrid derbies – all under the tutelage of Mourinho.

He’s a true entertainer

We saw glimpses of Ozil’s best form in the early months of this campaign, including one of the outstanding solo goals of recent times, as the Gelsenkirchen native deftly chipped the keeper, left two defenders on their backside and slotted home to secure a 3-2 win away at Ludogorets in the Champions League.

That’s far from all the joy he’s brought fans – including neutrals – this term, with the attacking midfielder linking up wonderfully with Alexis Sanchez en route to netting the third in a 3-0 demolition of champions-elect Chelsea.

With Mourinho trying to implement a more fluid, stylish and attack-minded form of football at Old Trafford, following the dull football United fans endured under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, the German would be an ideal addition in giving the Theatre of Dreams faithful the excitement they crave.

He’d be a great foil for Pogba

Talking of players who aren’t enjoying their best form right now: Man United’s world-record signing, £89m Paul Pogba. Like Ozil, he’s failed to notch up a single goal in 2017, while he’s also managed to produce just two assists since the turn of the year.

However, while it might seem counter-intuitive on the face of it, what both of these two out-of-form players could probably do with is each other.

Pogba desperately struggled to find a man in space during United’s defeat at Stamford Bridge last night, giving him few opportunities to get the ball into attacking midfield.

For his part, Ozil seems frustrated by his place in an Arsenal side which lacks the almighty midfield dynamism offered – at his best – by a certain Mr Pogba.

If United can ensure they have both men in their line-up next season, things could look very good indeed for both Ozil and the Red Devils.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.