So it was true that while Pep Guardiola was in-charge at Barcelona, overseeing those heated El Clasicos, he wasn’t just interested in what his players did, but kept an eye on the other players on white, huh? The Bayern Munich coach has already captured Xabi Alonso from the camp of his rivals this season and reports now reveal he was close to taking another one of his enemy’s gems, albeit an ex, but was rebuffed.
But for Wenger’s “NO”, Ozil would probably be a Bayern Munich player by now. According to Express the fee proposed by Bayern Munich was considered significantly lower than the £42.5m we had paid to Real Madrid, perhaps a deciding factor in the deal falling through.
Guardiola has been monitoring Ozil’s situation at the Emirates ever since he made the move from Real Madrid last season, having had an interest in the German International to make him a part of his Barcelona team, prior to his move to the Bernabeu after an impressive World Cup in South Africa. The former Barcelona boss sensed the opportunity to snap up Ozil last summer due to the low-rate reviews given by the Press to his performances in his debut season in England.
Ozil has come in for wide-spread criticism for an apparent ‘failure’ to reproduce his form at Madrid which established him as one of the most creative midfield players in world football, producing more assists than any other player over the past 5 seasons in Europe. The height of the stick came after he missed a 10th minute penalty against Pep Guardiola’s Bayern at the Emirates in the Round-of-16 tie with the game still goalless, a game which impressed an unmistakable dent on the player’s confidence.
Guardiola perhaps believes the 25 year old has not been utilized to his full potential in the past year at the Emirates and is begging for a chance to set that right. Ozil, though, has not shown any signs of discontent in North London, having lifted the FA Cup in his first season, playing a major role in our long stay in the title race before the collapse in February. It is worthwhile to note that this collapse coincided with the period of the injuries to Ozil and Ramsey who had been Arsenal’s stand-out players.
Wenger himself would not have let Ozil go, certainly not just after one season. The sale, it appears, would have afforded us the chance to sign Cesc back from Barcelona but like he has said, there was never going to be a turning back to sign Fabregas once he left in 2011. The manager wishes to build his team around the abilities of the German and though that has not been the case to a large extent, with Ozil played out wide in most games, Wenger remains positive about the influence Ozil can have on his team in the future.
In retrospect, perhaps he should have sold him, to cash in on the player. He has sustained another injury which will now see him out for an accumulated period of 5 months within this calendar year. On another hand, he could turn out to be a hot new January signing when he returns from his current knee injury.
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