Mesut Ozil’s time at Arsenal is finally coming towards a conclusion.
It’s been a tumultuous season for the one-time £42.8m club-record signing and now his north London nightmare appears to be over as he edges towards a move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein revealed on Saturday that the Gunners had an ‘agreement in principle’ to terminate the 32-year-old’s contract in order for him to complete a permanent move to the Yellow Canaries as a free-agent.
Despite not being registered in Mikel Arteta’s Premier League squad for the 2020/21 season, it still leaves Arsenal needing a replacement and there’s one name that technical director Edu Gaspar has to target, and no, it’s not Houssem Aouar.
That ship may well have sailed.
Instead, Norwich City’s Emi Buendia ought to be their top priority – according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners have contacted the Argentinian’s agent over a potential deal, though the club are yet to submit an official bid.
The 24-year-old impressed again this weekend, playing an integral part to the Canaries seeing off Cardiff City in the Championship.
He managed to notch three key passes, completed 100% of his dribbles and even made four interceptions, via SofaScore. Indeed, this is the creative norm for the impressive playmaker as he’s averaging 3.3 key passes per game this term.
No other player in the English second-flight is managing close to that, in fact, it is a whole one extra key pass per game than Swansea’s Conor Roberts, who ranks second for chances created.
But this is something we already knew from Buendia’s time in the Premier League. Even despite Norwich’s relegation, the attacking maestro sat fourth behind Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish for chances created (83) during the 2019/20 campaign.
Ozil created only 52 chances for Arsenal too.
Buendia has been lauded as everything from a “revelation” by pundit Chris Sutton to a “game-changer” by current boss Daniel Farke, and you could argue that such a player is something Arteta is still lacking, despite forcing Ozil out the door.
Only Willian has created as many as five big chances in the Premier League this season, which tells a story in itself, whilst Emile Smith Rowe tops the charts with 1.5 key passes per game and that’s still less than half the number of Buendia.
But it’s time to move on from the Frenchman as Buendia could well prove to be better value for money. Ultimately, he can be the Gunners’ dream Ozil successor this transfer window.