Arsenal move for Ryan Fraser could push Mesut Ozil further into the shadows

Arsenal are preparing a bid for Ryan Fraser after the Europa League final, according to The Independent.

What’s the word?

Bournemouth are facing an uphill battle to keep Fraser after the winger’s scintillating season that saw him score seven goals and add 14 assists.

After notching just 11 assists in his first two seasons of consistent game-time, Fraser took the Premier League by storm over the 2018/2019 campaign to lead Bournemouth to a comfortable 14th-place finish.

With just one year left on his contract, the Cherries fear their prize asset may not sign a new deal and are holding out for £30m in any sale.

Trouble for Mesut Ozil

Initially, the arrival of a young dynamic winger such as Fraser would cause concern for the likes of Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who the Scotsman could be directly replacing.

However, in reality, it is former World Cup winner Ozil who should be biting his nails as a move for Fraser heats up. While occupying different spots on the pitch, both the German and the seven-cap Scot garner a similar role within their teams as the chief creative architect.

Ozil’s deficiencies are often accepted due to his immense flashes of brilliance, but Unai Emery would clearly prefer a player who can contribute all over the pitch as Ozil was restricted to just 24 Premier League appearances and dropped for massive matches against Manchester City and Chelsea.

Emery’s scepticism at Ozil’s ability to perform in the Premier League was clear after he said the German was not suited to the physicality and intensity of November’s 2-1 victory the Vitality Stadium.

Fraser dwarfs Ozil’s defensive production, displayed by the fact that Howe even stationed the Scottish international as a wing-back during the 2017/18 season due to his phenomenal work-rate.

Arsenal often find themselves over-run in midfield, especially on the counter-attack – something that was particularly evident in Wolves’ 3-1 victory against the Gunners in April when Ozil made zero defensive contributions as Arsenal were trounced by Nuno Espirito Santo’s marauding side.

The acquisition of Fraser would allow Emery to consistently drop Ozil for a more defensive-minded midfielder as the Gunners’ point of attack changes from the middle of the park to out wide.

With Ozil in the side, Arsenal sacrifice midfield stability in favour of a creative spark, but with Fraser that spark can be replaced while ensuring more solidity.