Mesut Özil: Did the ‘Assist King’ lose his charisma?

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It has been exactly three months since, German linchpin, ‘The King of Assists’, Mesut Özil joined Turkish giants, Fenerbahçe S.K.

Was it a wise decision taken by him to join his ‘dream team’ after his contract at Arsenal was prematurely terminated?

Mesut Özil is a name that can’t be unknown to any football fan across the globe. Often referred as the ‘King of Assists’ in football history, he also introduced the world to a new role on the pitch called the ‘false-10’ which is actually a centralized winger due to his tendency to drift from the centre into a wide position when in possession of the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa.

A player with an otherworldly vision, inevitable game sense (both on and off the ball), classy dribbling skills and passing with razor-sharp accuracy. He has donned the jerseys of teams like Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid and Arsenal before. He was at the peak of his career during his time at Bernabeu and later at Arsenal. But, now the question is, what happened to such an iconic player who has even won the FIFA World Cup in 2014 with Germany?

Mesut Özil

Özil was left out of the match-day squads for the first matches of the 2020–21 season and was not even included in the club’s squad for the Europa League group stage. It was also later confirmed that Özil was omitted from Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad leaving him eligible only to play for Arsenal’s U-23 squad.

Özil released a statement on Twitter in which he said that he was “deeply disappointed” but will “continue fighting for a chance”. Some have suggested to Özil’s omission from the squad is related to his criticism of the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China, from which Arsenal publicly distanced themselves. Finally, in January 2021, his contract was prematurely terminated by Arsenal and on 27th January, he joined his ‘dream team’, Fenerbahçe S.K.

But, in last three months, he has been able to play just 6 matches for the Turkish giants. In those 6 appearances for Fenerbahçe, he has scored none and has got one assist for his name in the Intercontinental Derby. Fenerbahçe eventually won the match, 1-0. Still, in all 6 matches, the ‘natural charisma’ of Assist King wasn’t witnessed even for once.

Now, his age can’t be the reason to this. He is still quite young as he’s just 32 years-old whereas, Messi (33), Cristiano (36), Modrić (35) and Zlatan (39) are still making us relish their inevitable class in World football. In fact, the tactics and gameplan also fits well for Mesut Özil as he can be deployed as an attacking midfielder or a wide midfielder and even can be appointed the role of a centralised winger too.

So then, do we have to consider that joining Fenerbahçe wasn’t a wise decision for the German star? Couldn’t he have waited a bit longer and joined any other big club in any of Europe’s top-flight leagues? Mesut Özil is such a player who isn’t considered much as a National legend but, a club legend. So, is he going to lose his title?

The player who at the very least should have been heralded as the Greatest Player of the Emirates Era seems to be on his way to the list of Forgotten Heroes in European Football. Some names who belong to the list are Sergio Pellisier, Roman Weidenfeller and Bacary Sagna.

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Dipro Mukherjee
18. Calcutta. Sagittarius. Sports Columnist.

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