At some point, Arsenal will need to replace Mesut Ozil in the attacking midfield position. Here are three candidates the club should consider.
At some point, Arsenal will have to replace Mesut Ozil. It might be this summer. It might be at the end of his contract next summer. It might even be after that. But some time in the near future will see the end of Ozil’s time at the club, and when that moment comes, it will be up to the Gunners to ensure that they are ready.
So, with Ozil’s time coming to an end, here are three replacements to that the club should consider.
3. Emile Smith Rowe
Naturally, external solutions immediately spring to mind. In his pomp, Ozil was a world-class creator. Those types of players do not exactly grow on trees, and to find another would most likely require investment through the transfer window. However, Arsenal might have hit the jackpot.
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Emile Smith Rowe is a sensationally gifted young attacking midfielder. More akin to Kevin de Bruyne than Ozil, mirroring the Belgian’s more direct, athletic style, rather than the floating figure Ozil occupies, the 19-year-old possesses a skill set that makes him ideal for the modern game. He is strong and powerful on the ball, an excellent dribbler, his passing is accurate, and his vision and spatial awareness are superb. He understands how to take up pockets of space between the lines and exploit defences brilliantly.
Now, is he ready to take on a starting role in a team chasing a top-four finish in the Premier League? That much is difficult to say. He is still very raw, and while he is flourishing at Huddersfield Town on loan, that is in the Championship. His performances for Arsenal have been a little more inconsistent. Nevertheless, the talent is there, and should Mikel Arteta feel he is ready, giving the Ozil keys to Smith Rowe might not be the worst avenue to explore.