Finding a Mesut Özil replacement
3 min read

Finding a Mesut Özil replacement

Finding a Mesut Özil replacement

Mesut Özil is a free agent this summer, if he doesn’t re-sign who could possibly replace him with some amateur stats scouting. I did this exercise yesterday looking at Alexis Sanchez and it turned up some interesting names and it was suggested to do the same looking at Özil.

I am still holding out hope that Özil will still re-sign with Arsenal but it is always good to be prepared.

For this I have picked out Big Chance key passes, total key passes, xA and xG as the key values to search for and looked for players that have a minimum of 75% of Özil’s out put for this season. I also wanted to look at total final third touches and also the amount of passes entering the final third each player made but I did not filter on these.

The results:

Özil Replacements

Özil’s skills are pretty unique and not replicated by many players in Europe. As replacements, we can eliminate Messi, Neymar, and Coutinho for sure. Let’s look a little further, who is this Alexis Sanchez fellow? His stats look like he might be a really good player, let me just look at his information, wow looks like he is available for a free transfer this summer. His team must have really screwed up his contract situation. DIES.

Ok I am back, I’d say trying to lure Lorenzo Insigne nearly impossible as well but he is another player on my dream transfer list, just look at those stats:

Dimitri Payet continues to not quite be as good as Özil no matter what the West Ham fans thought.

That said he has put up very good numbers for Marseille but is also 30 and not a player to build around long term, especially when you could just make a godfather type offer to keep the better player in Özil.

Willian, Alejandro Gomez and Iago Falque are all in their late 20’s (29, 29 and 28 respectively) and don’t exactly fit the age profile of the rebuild that is needed at Arsenal.

Willian also has the problem of currently being employed by Chelsea who would likely not be interested in doing business with Arsenal.

That said he is a player that I have always liked and I think he would have been a great fit as a wide creator/goal threat for Arsenal.

That leaves Luis Alberto and Marcelo Brozovic as realistic targets based on my very simple stats scouting.

Alberto has played primarily as a central attacking midfielder for Lazio this season with 6 goals and 7 assists. These numbers are well above his expected numbers he has produced but not crazily. The one area he doesn’t quite measure up to Özil is in creating and passing, but then again not many players can.

Brozovic has impressive statistics but he has done it in just under 700 minutes this season which makes this a little on the small sample size. In addition when you see players who have quite a few substitution appearances you need to be aware of the sub bonus that boosts players offensive numbers.

Those caveats noted that is a very nice looking radar.

This post originally ran on The Short Fuse