Arsenal could sign a new Ozil in “phenomenal” ace who’s scored every 23 mins in Qatar – opinion

Back in 2010, a certain head-banded playmaker lit up South Africa with former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil truly bursting onto the scene.

At the time, he was playing for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga before his sensational performances at the World Cup saw him earn a mega move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

During that tournament no player would assist more goals than Ozil’s three, while only five players, including Lionel Messi and Xavi, would play more than his 2.9 key passes a game.

That tally happened to be better than the likes of Robin van Persie, Steven Gerrard, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard.

Clearly in elite company, there was barely any risk attached to the move and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ozil would go on to become one of the finest creators around, subsequently registering 54 assists in La Liga and 58 assists in the Premier League for the Gunners.

His fall from grace, therefore, is all the more peculiar. Exiled by the north London side, he eventually left on a free transfer and now plies his trade for Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey.

It’s hard to argue that Mikel Arteta and co have missed him. Since his exit, they have gone from strength to strength with another former Madrid man at their core; Martin Odegaard.

That said, with Emile Smith Rowe injured and Fabio Vieira undergoing a period of adaption in the capital, there is a sense that there is room for another creator in the central areas at the Emirates Stadium.

That honour could well fall upon Lovro Majer. The Croat has been linked with a move to Islington in recent months and if a deal can be completed, he could well be the club’s new Ozil.

Sporting a headband and curly hair of his own, the 24-year-old hasn’t quite made an Ozil-like impact in Qatar this autumn, but there are signs that he could be a wonderful player.

Majer has been restricted to substitute appearances at the moment but when called upon has been a lively player for Zlatko Dalic’s side.

He has scored one goal in his limited time on the field, meaning that he has found the net every 23 minutes, the highest scoring frequency in the entire tournament.

Like Ozil, he has a mini piece of World Cup history, with that record quite unlikely to be beaten across the rest of the competition.

The attacking midfielder is a natural when it comes to beating the goalkeeper, scoring 19 times for Dinamo Zagreb before earning a move to Rennes in Ligue 1. Since moving to France, a further eight strikes in 55 outings have fallen his way.

However, like the German he’s being compared to, he is more of a creator in the middle, an orchestrator who certainly knows how to pick a pass.

He has 12 assists for Rennes, three of which have come this term with Majer showing a canny ability to unlock defences.

In the words of talent scout Jacek Kulig, the “phenomenal” midfielder has an “amazing left foot“, a statement that further lends itself to the Ozil similarities.

Kulig has further dubbed the Croatian as a “highly technical player“, one who “big clubs are sleeping on.

With that in mind, it may well be easier to sign him with others seemingly dodging his talents so far.

Majer’s addition might not be the most eye-catching but it would surely be exciting. After all, his potential in the game is immense, so much so that he could be the club’s new Ozil.


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