On more than one occasion, Mesut Ozil has been accused of going missing when it is time to play the big boys, however one thing you cannot argue against are his stats on AND off the pitch.
In 134 Premier League games for the Gunners, the Gelsenkirchen native has pitched in with a whopping 50 assists at a rate of 0.36 per game proving to be one of the better Premier League ratios of all time.
So good in fact, that Ozil sits joint 21st with Damien Duff in the all-time Premier League assist table after just four and a half seasons in England’s top flight.
After rumours were rife that Ozil would refuse to sign a new contract and leave in the summer, it transpired that nothing of the sort would occur as the 29-year-old happily agreed to a new three-and-a-half-year deal making him Arsenal’s highest paid player.
This now gives Ozil the perfect opportunity to become the Gunners all time Premier League assist king after having already over taken Dennis Bergkamp in the pecking order.
However, this season the German attacking midfielder has seven to his name and although that may sound like a decent sum total, it does put him down in joint seventh in the table but more importantly, one behind Arsene Wenger’s winter acquisition, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (despite the Armenian proving something of a bit part player for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United prior to his move to North London).
How this will affect the German remains to be seen but if he is put in the shadow somewhat by his team mate, at least he has a fall back……………. Twitter.
Ozil is the undisputed Emirates king of the tweets proved by a 2017 study by www.sbo.net which highlights the number of tweets sent out by Premier League players throughout the year (see graphic below).
(Image courtesy of sbo.net)
Ozil is clearly Arsenal’s number one with 221 tweets throughout last year at an average of 0.61 tweets sent per day.
However, it seems that once again the 29-year-old must play second fiddle (or 15th fiddle in this case) to a host of Premier League stars and is a hefty 253 tweets shy of Everton’s Yannick Bolasie in first place.
Granted, Bolasie has had a lot of time on his hands due to injury and stats on the pitch are much more important, but the chart does give us an insight to the social aspects of the players.
Ozil is the only Arsenal player to feature in the top 20 and whether that is significant or not really comes down to personal perception of social media.
However, how the German performs in the next three-and-a-half years will be scrutinised heavily and rightly so.
Becoming Arsenal’s highest paid player comes with it a degree of responsibility and one wonders if Ozil is quite the man to take that responsibility.
Leaders such as Adams, O’Leary and even Henry took everything to heart for the Gunners and led by example of the pitch.
Now it is up to Ozil to prove that under pressure he can deliver and focus on the assist table rather than the Social media one.