Germany’s young attacking midfield star, who astounded audiences and pundits with some excellent performances at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa this summer, has completed a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid for a fee believed to be around 12.5 million pounds.
Ozil’s career really began to take flight when Werder Bremen sold Brazilian playmaker Diego to Juventus. Werder knew that they would not need to splash the cash on a replacement with a young Mesut Ozil waiting in the wings to make the role his own. Aged just 19 years old at the time, Mesut Ozil began to make his name at Werder Bremen in the first-team with some dazzling performances. Germany coach Joachim Loew called the young midfielder up to the German national team for the first time in 2009. Since then, he has gone on to establish himself as an irreplaceable part of the national setup, and his contributions have been noted and praised by both the German public and the German media.
Ozil, now, will join fellow World Cup 2010 star and compatriot Sami Khedira at Real Madrid, where they will both be under pressure to succeed by the critical eyes of the Madridistas. Both players face stiff competition for positions in this new-look Real Madrid side, but I don’t believe either would have opted for moves away from the Bundesliga without an assurance of first-team football.
Ozil will compete with Rafael van der Vaart, Kaka and Sergio Canales for central attacking midfield role. With Kaka out injured for up to four months, Ozil has the potential to make the role his own and force Kaka out of the side. Now let’s not forget, Kaka is the player who nearly single-handedly led AC Milan to Champions League glory in the 2006-2007, and who won World Footballer of the Year in 2007. Recently, though, injuries have marred the Brazilian’s success and he will be sidelined for nearly half of the La Liga season this year. This is a great chance for Ozil if he can settle into the side quickly and make a big impact. Freezing a player like Kaka out of the Real Madrid first-team will be no easy task, but with some stellar performances Mesut Ozil may establish himself in Jose Mourinho’s mind as the ideal player for the role.
But what of Werder Bremen? A club who are fighting for Champions League qualification certainly won’t be qualifying at all after the sale of their best player. It’s just hard to see who will replace Mesut Ozil at Werder Bremen. It’s possible that Felix Kroos, the younger brother of Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos, could step into the role and grow into the player that Mesut Ozil was for Werder Bremen. But that will take time. And Werder Bremen don’t really have time, unless they can settle with a season without Champions League football.
Of course, the other problem is that Werder Bremen are financially unable to hold on to star players like Mesut Ozil. Selling a player of that quality for the sensationally low price of 12 million pounds emphasizes, for me, that financially Werder Bremen aren’t up to snuff. Let’s put it into perspective. James Milner will cost Manchester City 30 million pounds. That’s almost three times what Mesut Ozil just left Werder Bremen for. That’s outrageous. James Milner isn’t half the player Mesut Ozil is, yet Mesut Ozil was sold for a third of the price James Milner is valued at.
And now, Felix Kroos. When he matures into a player that can create something out of nothing, a player that can pick a pass and score an important goal and link-up play, he’ll be sold too. To a bigger club with bigger aspirations and a bigger budget. If I were a Werder Bremen fan, I’d be pretty disappointed with the club over this transfer.
In any case, it will be fantastic to see Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira boss the midfield for Real Madrid alongside players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Gonzalo Higuain. Ozil and Khedira will be the future of Real Madrid, and they will be the future of the German national team. Great signing for Real Madrid, but poor move by Werder Bremen letting a player of that quality go so cheaply. If any club can pay a high price, it’s Real Madrid. It’s also very interesting that Manchester United, who are in need of a player like Mesut Ozil, didn’t try and hijack the deal considering the incredibly low transfer fee.