Since his breakout performances at this summer’s World Cup, rumours have been flying around the internet about the future of Mesut Ozil. However, the player himself has put paid to the speculation by saying he intends to remain at Werder Bremen until the end of his contract. Speaking to German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Ozil said: “For now, my situation for the next 12 months is clear. Only the facts count and the fact is, I am under contract with Werder. I cannot know what comes after that.”
The news that Ozil is staying at Werder this season is set to disappoint potential Premier League suitors Arsenal and Manchester United who have been heavily linked with a move for the playmaker. Nevertheless, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger can both find solace in the fact that by seeing out his contract at Werder Bremen, Ozil would be available on a free transfer come the end of the season.
The decision by Ozil to snub interest from the Premier League, albeit for one season at least shows that the profile of German football is definitely on the up. Their imperious displays at the World Cup won the Germans many fans with their unique brand of high octane attacking football; a brand of football based upon the foundation of home-grown youth.
Germany has been quietly producing technically gifted and exciting young players, as evidenced by looking at the players in Joachim Low’s World Cup squad. Along with Ozil, there are number of promising young Germans who play regularly in the Bundesliga. There is Ozil’s teammate at Bremen Marko Marin who impressed alongside Ozil in the Bremen midfield last season. There is also a clutch of Bayern Munich youngsters in the German national team set-up including defender Holger Badstuber, midfielder Toni Kroos and Golden Boot winner Thomas Muller. In addition to the youth talent in the Bundesliga, many of the established international players also play in the German league showing the strength in depth that is present in Germany’s national league.
The success of Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League has similarly helped to raise the awareness of German football. Their spending power and European pedigree has allowed the Bavarian club to attract some of the biggest names in world football to the Allianz Arena. In the past few years, Bayern have brought in superstars such as Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben whose scintillating form carried Bayern into the Champions League final.
With some of Bayern’s big signings, the Bundesliga is becoming an attractive destination for both players and managers alike. Despite attracting attention from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, Danish defender Simon Kjaer chose to reject the Premier League and join German side Wolfsburg from Palermo. Indeed, Kjaer’s new boss, Steve McClaren left his post in Twente to become the new manager at the Volkswagen Arena.
Ozil’s decision to stay with Werder Bremen could prove to be a wise one. He would be guaranteed playing time which is something that neither Manchester United or Arsenal can give him. In the end, the prospect of one more season of regular football could prove to justify Ferguson and Wenger’s interest and make Ozil an even hotter prospect for the future.