“Mesut Ozil won’t be the number 1 star if he joins Barcelona” – Martin Keown

Arsenal great Martin Keown has said that Mesut Ozil moving to Barcelona would be a big mistake for the German, with him turning down the opportunity to be the star of a team.

The 29-year-old has been linked with Barcelona by Spanish newspapers, especially with the Catalans failing to land their main target Philippe Coutinho. However, with Mesut Ozil’s contract expiring at the end of the season, the Camp Nou side could end up getting him for free, despite the German publicly professing his love for Arsenal.

Mesut Ozil would make a good replacement for Andres Iniesta and would certainly be a lot cheaper than Liverpool’s star Coutinho. The Catalans have already had at least three bids worth  £114million rejected by the Reds for their star man, and bringing in Ozil would be a wise decision. However, according to Premier League winner and former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, the German international would be making a big mistake moving back to Spain, especially if he wants to become a leading star in a side.

In his column, Keown wrote “I don’t think he would be a bad signing. Everyone knows his caliber. Look at who he would be assisting – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez… they are not going to turn him down because they know his vision. But the next step for him was to become a Messi or a Ronaldo type player – more ruthless.

Going to a situation like that at Barcelona admits he is a provider rather than someone who can be a No 1. Most of the time he looks like he is playing for fun. When he’s happy, he plays well. But when he’s not happy, he doesn’t.”

The Catalans are not the only club interested in Ozil, with Manchester United, Inter Milan and even Turkish outfit Fenerbahce in the hunt for his signature. But neither Inter Milan nor even Fenerbahce has the financial capacity to stomach Mesut Ozil’s demands of a salary in the excess of £300 per week.

Author’s take:

While the German international would be the perfect foil for Andres Iniesta, especially as Barcelona look for a long-term replacement for their aging star, for Arsenal losing him would put a big dent in their proceedings. There are not many players around with Ozil’s vision, passing range and even attacking movement and despite the fact that he has come under stick for his defensive work, few players are as good as him going forward.

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