5 players that could replace Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil remains one of the main figures whose future at Arsenal is still up in the air. Joining the Gunners back in 2013, the Germany international established himself as a key player at Emirates Stadium due to his talent. After impressive 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, something went wrong for the midfielder, with former Sevilla boss, Unai Emery, taking the charge of the Gunners. Since the Spanish manager’s arrival, Ozil has struggled in the first team, often being played out of his position.  Mikel Arteta’s appointment as a new coach brought some hope as the player’s performances started to improve under the former Manchester City assistant coach. However, it seems the club's highest-paid player on £350,000 a week is close to leaving the club. The midfielder hasn’t played a single game for Arteta’s side since the restart of the Premier League season. Yet, he was out of Arsenal squad for FA Cup final against Chelsea, after being allowed to travel to Turkey and miss the game.  Amid the limited playing time, Ozil is nearing the end of his contract in 2021. Arteta hasn’t given a detailed answer yet, concerning the 31-year-old’s future at Arsenal. Speaking to beIN SPORTS, the club boss said: “I don’t know. He is training now with the team, he has the same opportunities as everybody else but at the moment he’s not in both, in the squads.” Meanwhile, the player’s agent revealed that the Germany international will not leave the Premier League side this summer: ”I do not think there will be a change in the case of Mesut Ozil until the summer of 2021. He has a contract. There is no change. He will remain in Arsenal.” Hence, Ozil is likely to run down his last of the contract and quit the club next year. However, Arsenal have already started their searches to replace the midfielder at the team.  So let's take a look at 5 players that could take the role Mesut Ozil had at Emirates Stadium. 

Orkun Kokcu

Arsenal have already eyed Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu as Arteta believes the 19-year-old can become a perfect replacement for Ozil in the No10 role.  Kokcu has been dubbed "one of the best midfield players" in Holland by Manchester United legend and former Feyenoord boss Jaap Stam. The teenager has recorded 3 goals and 6 assists across all competitions before the Dutch league was abandoned due to the coronavirus outbreak.  The Turkish professional could hugely contribute in Arsenal squad, with the player capable of performing both as an attacking midfielder, as well as taking a more defensive role at the team.  Kokcu has two years left in his contract with the current team. However, Gunners could succeed in bringing the youngster to the Premier League side․

Jonathan David

Another attacking midfield option could become David, who is currently playing for KAA Gent. The 20-year-old has scored 23 goals and provided 10 assists in all competitions for the Belgian side this term.  Despite his young age, the youngster has already managed to sparkle in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, pushing himself into the first team at the beginning of the 2018/19 season. His attacking skills and creativeness in midfield could massively impact on the Gunners’ game.  David has impressed in international football as well. He is already among Canada’s top 10 all-time goalscorers with 11 goals and 5 assists in just 12 senior caps. Moreover, in 2019 he picked up the golden boot award at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and won Canada’s player of the year award. Jonathan David, 20yo CAM Gent Rating: 76 Potential: 88 BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images


Arsenal have been previously linked with Real Madrid midfielder for the winter transfer window amid Manchester City interest. The player himself revealed he is open to leaving the La Liga club, having found his playing time limited with the team. The 28-year-old has recorded just 3 goals and 2 assists with Zinedine Zidane’s side this term. So his move to Arsenal is a deal both sides will benefit. The Spanish international would be given more playing time for regular football, while the Gunners could solve their midfield problems.  During his spell at Real, Isco has won four Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey.  

Philippe Coutinho

Former Premier League man is on his way to England again, after an unsuccessful playing spell with Barcelona. The 28-year-old’s “dream move” to the Catalan giants became a struggle for regular football, which forced the Spanish side to loan him to Germany champions, Bayern Munich. Now, as Barcelona are keen to sell the Brazil international, Arsenal could become the next destination for the midfielder. Quique Setien’s side have eyed the Gunners’ Mattéo Guendouzi so that the two sides are likely to end up on a swap deal, with Arsenal paying an additional £9m for Coutinho. It should be noted that the former Liverpool midfielder’s skills and creativity in midfield could perfectly fit for replacing Ozil at Emirates Stadium. 

Emile Smith Rowe

In another scenario, Mikel Arteta might decide to solve the midfield problem, relying on the club academy players, and the possible savior could become Emile Smith Rowe. The 20-year-old has already managed to impress with his loan side, Huddersfield Town, scoring 1 goal and providing 3 assists for the Championship side. The England professional has only made 12 competitive appearances for Arsenal first-team and is yet to make his senior performances for the Gunners. And it is likely that he could become a part of Arteta’s rebuild of the squad next season. The manager himself didn’t hide his excitement over the youngster’s development, saying: "He's a player with very specific qualities to play in those pockets in that position as an attacking midfielder. I am excited to work with him. I have been talking with him and I have followed him during his spell on loan. I think he's someone who can be pretty impressive.”        


England, Premier League