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“Mesut Ozil successor” means absolutely nothing

Arsenal and Mesut Ozil continue to work on their divorce, but in the meantime, talks of Ozil’s “successor” continue… for absolutely no reason.

Anyone that complained about Unai Emery’s treatment of Mesut Ozil must be fuming from what Mikel Arteta is doing. “Freezing him out” of Arsenal is an understatement, he is frozen solid. Yet people aren’t complaining, oddly enough.

In the meantime, there are still talks of “Mesut Ozil’s successor,” and the name most often linked is Emile Smith Rowe and his glorious return from Huddersfield. The young creative midfielder could be another gem for Mikel Arteta to deploy amidst the young gems he already has at his disposal.

There have also been transfer targets linked, like Orkun Kokcu, also being touted as Mesut Ozil’s successor.

But I’m not a fan of this “successor of Mesut Ozil” label because it’s essentially meaningless. Ozil was Arsene Wenger’s man, his final project, his attempt to fit the final piece of the puzzle and it didn’t work.

Once it didn’t work, it became apparent that honestly, there wasn’t much need for a No. 10 at all and if we’ve learned anything under Mikel Arteta it’s that we’re better off without. And not just because we don’t have anyone to fill the role.

What’s been great about the wingback situation is that it allows the two wingers to double us as attacking midfielders when they cut inside. They still get the overlap out wide from the wingbacks, which allows them to do so, and that’s what’s allowed even guys like Joe Willock to find joy in a winger role because he doesn’t need to stick to wide angles.

That way we have one coming on each side and far less reliance on each one, as well as the potential coming up through the center in Dani Ceballos or whoever we can get to replace him.

Mesut Ozil doesn’t work on the wings. He doesn’t work in central midfield. We’ve known this for a while. We don’t need a successor to Ozil, we need an improvement, a solution, a difference. We need to move on from him, which we are already doing. That’s what we need. Not another.

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That said, I can’t wait to see Emile Smith Rowe back at the club doing what Willock is doing. Or something completely different. But not what Mesut Ozil did. We don’t need that. We need something new.

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