Shkodran Mustafi has paid an emotional tribute to Arsenal team-mate Mesut Ozil ahead of the midfielder’s move to Fenerbahce. Ozil is in Turkey to put the finishing touches on his move to Fener, following confirmation that he had reached an agreement with Arsenal to terminate his contract six months early.
- Bat-gate exclusive: Caf to launch an investigation into ‘witchcraft’ allegations
- Don’t blame Messi for lashing out – Barcelona and his body are failing him
- From limitless to limp: How can Klopp fix lackluster Liverpool?
- Too Good, Too Bad: The Best & Worst of Africans Abroad
When at his best, Ozil was one of the top players ever to perform in the Premier League – but he also had spells when games passed him by without making any positive contribution. His most ardent supporters will feel his exit is a huge loss for the Gunners, who they will think have wasted his talents by not picking him since March.
But there will be others who feel the time has come to sever ties and allow manager Mikel Arteta to mold a future Arsenal side in the way he sees fit. Mustafi has been a team-mate of Ozil for five years, while they have graced the national stage for Germany together – and won the World Cup in 2014. With his team-mate on the brink of leaving Arsenal, Mustafi has paid tribute to a player he describes as the assist king.
“Bro, you have been the most unselfish player on and off the pitch I have ever shared the dressing room with,” Mustafi wrote on Twitter. “You will be always remembered as the #AssistKing.” Ozil has been on the sidelines at Arsenal since March and was not included in their Premier League squad for the current campaign, and it appears that is a source of regret for Mustafi.
He added: “Unfortunately we as a team haven’t been able to assist you when you needed us the most. All the best.” While Arsenal has not benefited from Ozil’s creativity this term, as they did in previous campaigns.
In the 2015-16 season, Ozil created 146 chances for team-mates and that is still the most in a single Premier League campaign since statisticians Opta began crunching the numbers in 1996. No other player has hit the 140-chance mark, with Manchester City’s creator supreme Kevin De Bruyne second best on 136.