All good things have to come to an end – a saying which has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the news that Arsenal have agreed to terminate the contract of Mesut Ozil.
The Germany international has been kicking his heels since it was announced he hadn’t been included in Mikel Arteta’s Premier League or Europa League squads – and by ‘kicking his heels’, we of course mean engaging in random Twitter spats with Piers Morgan.
With a move to Turkish side Fenerbahce looking set to take place in the coming days, we take a look back at Ozil’s best moments in an Arsenal shirt – it wasn’t all doom and gloom y’know, there was a time when he was absolutely brilliant.
When Ozil signed for Arsenal in the 2013 summer transfer window, there was an air of optimism around the club that the German’s arrival could be the start of something special.
It wasn’t, but let’s not allow that to sully our trip down memory lane.
It took him no time at all for him to settle into English football – 11 minutes to be precise – providing an inch-perfect pass to Olivier Giroud on his Premier League debut at the Stadium of Light, a contribution which set Arsenal on their way to three points in a 3-1 win.
Say what you like about Ozil’s on-field performances, any man who ensures a national treasure like the Gunnersaurus remains in employment is a good man in our book.
The Arsenal mascot was very nearly made extinct (hahahaha cos he’s like a dinosaur and so it’s really funny lol) when the club opted to effectively sack him, only for Ozil to step in and offer to pay the mascot’s wages to ensure he remained at the club.
So, now Ozil has had his contract terminated, where’s the gratitude Gunnersaurus? An eye for an eye and all that – get your wallet out.
Onto the next magnificent display.
In 2013/14, Arsenal were handed a daunting Champions League group alongside Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Marseille.
A strong start was imperative and that’s exactly what they got. A 2-1 win over Marseille in the opening gameweek set them up nicely, though a home clash with Napoli looked a tough ask – until Ozil turned on the style.
The German was sensational, proving too much for the Serie A side’s backline as he pulled the strings all evening, while his beautifully measured finish to put his side ahead oozed class.
While Ozil is more than capable of controlling a game for the full 90 minutes, his ability to produce brief moments of magic is another facet of his game which makes him so fun to watch.
The former Real Madrid man had fans watching on in awe as he smashed home Arsenal’s winner in their clash with Newcastle in 2017.
After the ball had looped up into the air and was sailing away from goal, the playmaker watched the ball all the way onto his left boot, wrapping his foot around it and powering an unstoppable drive into the top corner.
The strike earned Arsenal all three points and was a pure moment of class.
Speaking of moments of class.
The majority of the entries on our list are brilliant Ozil performances, but when it comes to glimpses of brilliance that leave you picking your jaw off the floor – this is the best of the lot.
With Arsenal’s Champions League match against Ludogorets finely poised at 2-2, Ozil was played through on goal with just minutes remaining.
Most players would panic and potentially fluff their lines, while those who are good enough not to buckle under the pressure would just keep it simple – Ozil did neither, he took the opportunity to showcase his brilliance.
The German chipped the goalkeeper, before feinting past two Ludogorets defenders, leaving both on their backside as he tapped home. Absolute genius.
Alright, so he didn’t quite get the record, but don’t let that detract from just how brilliant this achievement is.
Ozil notched 19 Premier League assists in 2015/16, a figure only surpassed by Thierry Henry and Kevin De Bruyne – not bad company to keep.
The former Werder Bremen man has made a career out of providing assist for others, and in truth there really aren’t many better than him at it in European football.
Few could have expected the whirlwind that struck Manchester United in their clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in 2015.
Arsene Wenger’s side absolutely flew out of the blocks, taking a 3-0 lead with less than 20 minutes on the clock, and Ozil was instrumental in dismantling the Red Devils.
He grabbed a goal and an assist in the opening seven minutes, leaving Louis van Gaal’s side shell-shocked as Arsenal cruised to a comfortable victory.
Ozil is one of those players who – when he’s playing well – is capable of single-handedly winning games, and when Leicester visited the Emirates in 2018 that’s exactly what he did.
Having gone a goal behind, the Gunners levelled the scoring thanks to Ozil’s sublimely deft finish – the kind of goal he made look easy, but in reality it was anything but – before two absolutely unbelievable pieces of play unlocked the Foxes backline as Arsenal recorded a 3-1 win.
It feels like Arsenal haven’t beaten Bayern Munich in about 400 years, but they actually triumphed against the Bavarian giants back in 2015 – thanks in no small part to their German wizard.
Ozil ran rings around the Bayern backline at times, and his late goal was enough to secure the three points and capped off a sublime individual performance.
Number one in our list of Ozil’s Arsenal highlights is his display in the 2017 FA Cup final.
One criticism which has been levelled at him during his Gunners career is his inability to turn up on the big occasions – but make no mistake about it, the FA Cup final is still a huge game, and he delivered a perfect performance in Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea.
Wenger’s side were big underdogs going into the showpiece event, with Antonio Conte’s men recently crowned the Premier League champions and Arsenal only mustering a disappointing fifth placed finish.
However, Ozil along with Alexis Sanchez put on a fantastic display and rescued what had been a difficult season for the club.