So with the Sanchez saga nearly resolved, talk will inevitably turn to the Ozil situation. The player we missed more than anyone else versus Bournemouth with his ability to carve out multiple goal-scoring chances per game. So what do we do about Ozil?
Selling Sanchez will take some of the pressure off the club with no risk of losing both key players on a free at the end of the season and therefore Arsenal might be best gambling on giving themselves six months to persuade Ozil to sign a new contract. We saw at Bournemouth our squad has a real lack of playmakers to Replace Ozil when absent, gone are the days when our squad contained options like Fabregas, Rosicky, Hleb and Nasri with our depth now built around winger come forward players like Iwobi, Welbeck and Walcott. Ozil compliments such players with his composure in the final third and end product and is an undisputed world-class playmaker who will be nearly impossible to replace.
We could sell or swap Ozil and replace him like for like. Very simply if Ozil is not going to sign then we need a replacement with the same qualities, a player with the requisite touch, vision and passing ability with a proven chances created and assists record. Options could include Mario Gotze, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Javier Pastore who contain the required attributes based around passing and chance creation rather than directness (like a Sanchez replacement) however such a limited shortlist shows how hard it will be to find a like for like replacement at the same level.
Option 3 could be to adapt the way we play to replace Ozil with a player of more directness like Aubameyang, Malcolm, Fekir or Mahrez. It would effectively change the balance of the team and the way we play but that is not to say it couldn’t work. Perhaps a 4-3-3 with Ramsey and Wilshere taking more creative responsibility with an attacking force in front that is based around pace and movement. The concern of building a forward line around pace and movement rather than creativity is breaking down teams who set up with ten men behind the ball (as has become a regular occurrence at the Emirates).
Evaluating the potential difficulty in replacing Ozil like for like with the added risk of upsetting the balance of a team (given our reliance on his creativity), Arsenal should spend the next six months persuading, negotiating and if needed begging Ozil to sign a new deal.