The major talking point surrounding ongoings at the Emirates this weekend of course came in the form of Mesut Ozil’s future.
German midfielder Ozil, having not lined out for Arsenal on a single occasion since last March, evidently came to the conclusion over the last couple of weeks that his time in the colours of the Gunners was up.
In turn, as confirmed on Saturday, the 32-year-old has agreed to a contract termination in north London, 6 months prior to his scheduled departure date:
EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal & Mesut Ozil have an agreement in principle to terminate contract with immediate effect + end his 7.5yr #AFC career. If all goes to plan Fenerbahce expect 32yo to travel this weekend & complete move to #FENER as free agent @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/b9JCDK3miJ
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 16, 2021
This was swiftly followed, meanwhile, by Ozil all-but confirming his next destination, via a series of social media posts.
The one-time Real Madrid standout is primed to link up with Turkish giants Fenerbahce, who beat out competition from MLS outfit DC United to convince him of their project:
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 17, 2021
Ozil > KDB
Ozil, though, despite the altogether underwhelming nature of his imminent exit, evidently bears Arsenal no ill will.
Mikel Arteta’s men are of course set to get their Premier League campaign back underway this evening, in a meeting with Newcastle United.
And, ahead of kick-off in north London, the German was keen to reiterate the fact that he ‘will always support the Gunners’, in a good luck message to his soon-to-be former employers:
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 18, 2021
Coincidentally, Ozil’s message to his Arsenal teammates comes on the same day that a series of statistics have resurfaced online, highlighting just how special the midfielder was in his prime.
Much has of course been made of the struggles for creativity at the Emirates to this point in the campaign, with Arteta’s men having frequently come up short in their efforts to break down deep-lying opposing backlines.
Ozil, though, is one individual who, from an individual standpoint at least, would certainly find it tough to relate to such woes.
As revealed by the reliable OptaJoe on Monday, the gifted no.10 maintains the record for the most chances ever created over the course of a single Premier League season (since such metrics first began to be noted).
This came in 2015-16, when, remarkably, Ozil managed to carve out 146 opportunities for his Gunners teammates:
146 – Mesut Özil’s total of 146 chances created in 2015-16 is still the most recorded by a player in a single Premier League season since Opta began collection of this metric in 1996. Distinguished.@Orbinho analyses Özil’s Arsenal career following his departure from the club.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2021