Recent media reports have linked the German 21-year old midfielder Mesut Ozil with a move to the Premier League. The playmaker who made the transition from relative obscurity outside of Germany to World Cup starlet impressed in South Africa and was a contender for Fifa’s Golden Ball award. The player spoke of his fondness of the Premier League in particular during the World Cup and has since indicated his desire to move on from Werder Bremen. “If you look at the recent history of Manchester United and Chelsea then it’s clear a player can be very successful there.” Regardless of tribal loyalties Mesut Ozil is a player that any football fan should welcome to England.
The player began his professional career at Schalke but moved to Werder Bremen in January 2008. It was at his current club where he began to hone his skills as a creative, attacking midfielder. He was instrumental in their victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the 2009 final of the DFB Cup. He scored the only goal of the match enhancing his reputation as a possessor of a cultured left foot and a cool temperament. These performances culminated in a call up for Jochim Low’s German national squad. The player’s composed and skilful performances at this year’s World Cup inevitably aroused the interest of Europe’s top clubs. Germany’s youthful and well coached side were amongst the highlights of the tournament and the possible transfer of one of its stars to England should delight football fans.
However patriotic stubbornness may still be an obstacle for England fans. The player was in imperious form as Germany triumphed over England in their second round encounter in Bloemfontein. England could not contain the youngster who ran rings round Gareth Barry. He was the creative fulcrum of the side, distributing countless passes, testing David James and racing away before gracefully laying off the ball to Thomas Muller to finish off England’s World Cup hopes for good. Largely employed as a creative schemer in a free role high up the pitch, Ozil’s position was not replicated by England. Joe Cole certainly fits that mould but was rarely used by Fabio Capello. Ozil was able to find space and utilise his skills to devastating effect against England’s two banks of four.
Up against Javier Mascherano in their next resounding victory over Argentina, Ozil’s presence in the centre was not as influential yet the player demonstrated his flexibility by moving between both wings and delivering unnervingly accurate crosses, setting up Klose for his volleyed finish. Ozil scored with a stunning half volley in Germany’s group game against Ghana. One BBC commentator described it as a controlled finish from just outside the box. How different the reaction would have been had a young English midfielder illuminated our tournament with a strike of that ilk.
His ability to orchestrate an attack, create chances, confuse defenders and contribute with the odd goal make this German a top target for many PL clubs. The evidence suggests he has many of the attributes required to compete at the highest level. He has the rare ability to make the game seem effortless and give the impression that he always has time on the ball. United and Chelsea fans may already be analysing how he could fit into their attacking formations but as football fans we should all be excited at the prospect of this player plying his trade in England.