Stats: How important is Mesut Ozil to Arsenal?

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is coming towards the end of his second season with the club now, yet many are still unconvinced with his performances and believe that perhaps he hasn’t lived up to his £42.5m price tag.

The German international helped the Gunners to their first trophy for nine years last season as they went on to lift the FA Cup and they’re currently third in the Premier League this time around, as well as having booked their place in the semi-final of the FA Cup once again.

Ozil has been hampered by injury throughout this campaign, which has meant the Gunners have played a large amount of fixtures without the services of a man who played in every game at Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph.

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Arsenal have played 14 Premier League games with Ozil in the side (W8, D4, L2) at a ratio of two points-gained-per-game, compared to 16 league games without him (W10, D2, L4) and they amount to exactly the same amount of points-gained-per-game – two.

So in that regard, Arsene Wenger‘s side are neither better off nor worse off when Ozil plays, but how does he compare statistically to the other attack-minded midfield players in the Arsenal team? Here is an average-per-game breakdown of numbers:

Arsenal midfielders in the 2014/15 Premier League (stats via Squawka)

Arsenal midfielders performance per-game in the 2014/15 Premier League (stats via Squawka)

The numbers show that Ozil has the most number of assists, chances created and key passes per-game out of any player, while only Santi Cazorla has a better pass completion rate with 88% compared to Ozil’s 87% – a miniscule difference.

Alexis Sanchez plays in a slightly more advanced role and has been prolific this season so he tops the goals-per-game charts. Only Santi Cazorla has scored more goals-per-game than Ozil.

At the beginning of March, it was also revealed that Mesut Ozil had covered more ground than any other Arsenal player since returning to the side in January, according to the telegraph.

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The criticism aimed at the 26-year-old often comes from his relaxed style of play, combined with the way he moves across the pitch and he certainly creates a divide in opinion.

It’s likely that some may never agree on what to make of Ozil and his hefty transfer fee is probably one of the main reasons that some aren’t entirely happy.

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Arsenal, Man United & Chelsea face tough battle for Real Madrid star

Germany World Cup winner and Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has finally confirmed he will leave Los Blancos at the end of the season after five years in the Spanish capital.

The defensive midfielder has been restricted to just 11 appearances this season due to injuries that have troubled him since November 2013. He returned towards the end of last season to play a part in Madrid’s tenth European title (La Decima) and his country’s World Cup triumph in Brazil.

It’s no secret Real have tried to tie him down to a new contract but Khedira has rejected the contract offers and in December he said, “if we can reach a solution, I’ll be very happy.” But now it seems Khedira is all but gone from Madrid.

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“I will give everything for this shirt until the last day of my contract, there should be no doubt about that. 

“It’s not a decision against Real Madrid. I want to find new challenges for my career and continue to grow as a player,” Khedira told Spanish newspaper Marca.

The German has lost his place in the Real Madrid starting lineup with Carlo Ancelotti preferring Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the heart of the midfield.

The news is sure to alert a whole host of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. The Gunners have been known to be huge admirers of the in-demand midfielder and his best friend Mesut Ozil plays at the Emirates.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho brought Khedira to Real Madrid in 2010 and would love to be reunited with him.

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The former Stuttgart man has also been linked with a move back to his homeland with interest from Bundesliga clubs Bayern Munich, Schalke and Wolfsburg. But Khedira says he is yet to reach a deal with anyone over his future.

“I don’t have an agreement with any club nor any preferences as to who I would like to join,” Khedira told Kicker.

If Khedira is to leave this summer, it would surely be one of the biggest bosman transfers in recent years.

Could an MLS move resurrect Fernando Torres’s career?

The once prolific World Cup winning Fernando Torres has been a shadow of his former-self in the past five years.

His loan move away from Chelsea to AC Milan had many predicting he would find his scoring form again, but it hasn’t worked out in Italy for the 30-year-old striker.

With just one goal in ten games, there has been speculation of him being handed back to Chelsea just five months since his two-year loan deal began.

As we know, he is a striker who thrives on confidence and instinct finishing – both have been missing for some time now.

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Major League Soccer could be a good destination for him to once again feel the love of devoted fans.

He can take many things from the David Villa move to New York City FC. Villa was his strike partner during the Spanish domination of international tournaments and his move has seen him become one of the most talked about players in America before he’s even played a game.

Torres can bring so much to a dressing room as well as to younger player in the squad. Despite a tricky spell during his time at Chelsea, he has a track record of success and would prove a move to MLS was the right option if there was any interest.

He scored in a number of big games for the Blues but could never quite find consistency.

Key moments for Torres:

  • 65 goals in 102 Liverpool games – Best strike rate in Liverpool’s history
  • Euro 2008 Final – Winning goal vs Germany
  • World Cup 2010 – Winner with Spain
  • Champions League Semi-Final 2012 – Vital equaliser vs Barcelona after long run
  • Champions League Final 2012 – Winner with Chelsea
  • Euro 2012 – Golden Boot winner and goalscorer in final win vs Italy
  • Europa League 2013 Final – First goal vs Benfica
  • 2013 Confederations Cup – Golden Boot winner

As for a destination, it’s not easy to say where Torres would be best suited. He thrived in his homeland with Atletico Madrid and a move back home will surely be an option.

Throughout the most successful periods of his career, his top scoring form has been while playing as a lone striker with supply coming from all over the field.

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Somewhere like the New England Revolution could be an ideal club, as he would suit their preferred formation of 4-2-3-1 with the likes of Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones feeding him constantly throughout the game.

Torres needs a fresh start, away from Europe, and a move to MLS would give him the chance to recapture his star status.

One thing we can be sure of is that people want to see him recapture the form we saw so much at Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and throughout his international career.

Would MLS be a good choice for Fernando Torres?