With Alexis Sanchez’s reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City looking increasingly likely and Mesut Ozil also prepared to depart the Emirates, the Gunners are set to lose two of their most important players from the past couple of seasons. Sanchez and Ozil have been very crucial for Arsene Wenger’s men but now the French tactician needs to prepare for a life without the duo.
There has been a lot of talk about the potential replacements for Ozil, while the assist king of the Premier League is reportedly eyeing a move to Arsenal’s biggest rivals Manchester United. Wenger needs a man who can fill in the boots of a player who has been the best German player for five times in the last seven years. Hence, we take a look at five possible replacements for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil.
1) Julian Draxler
It has been quite a time now, that Draxler has been on Arsene Wenger’s wishlist, and now that the German is not happy at PSG, he could well be headed to England. Ever Since the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG, Draxler has seen his game time reduced drastically. Since joining PSG in January last year, the 24-year-old winger has made just 26 league appearances for the French outfit.
Draxler is well renowned for his ability to use both feet with dangerous effect, his speed and for his versatility. He can feature on both flanks as well as in the middle of the park, as an attacking midfielder. The Schalke academy graduate is more of a goal scorer than a playmaker, but in their current scenario Arsenal would welcome him with open arms.
2) Nabil Fekir
The Lyon midfielder has been creating headlines in France for quite some time now, and Arsenal could just be the team he needs to step up his game. Fekir is Lyon’s skipper at the mere age of 24 and knows former Lyon striker and current Arsenal hitman Alexandre Lacazette very well.
His performances have earned him rave reviews from one and all, and he could be the perfect man to replace Ozil. Fekir has 14 goals and four assists across all competitions for the French outfit this season, however signing a star in the making, won’t be cheap. But the Gunners can surely spend can’t they?
3) Thomas Lemar
A man that slipped through Arsenal’s hands earlier in summer. A man Wenger was desperate to acquire. Thomas Lemar nearly secured a move to the Emirates only to be denied by time. However, come January the Gunners will have another opportunity to sign the Monaco midfielder.
Lemar is another man known for his versatility and aged just 22 he still has a lot of growth potential. The Frenchman has contributed three goals and three assists this season for Leonardo Jardim’s men, and Arsene Wenger is a big fan of his compatriot.
4) Emil Forsberg
A two-time Swedish midfielder of the year Emil Forsberg is another potential candidate to take over Ozil’s throne. The 26-year-old is a man in demand in the current market, all due to his creative ability. He provided 19 assists last season in the Bundesliga and for that reason, Wenger could land the RB Leipzig man.
Whether Forsberg could be equally successful in the Premier League is another question, but he has been a utility player for Leipzig up until now. Forsberg has four goals and two assists to his name so far, and at £45 million he could be the bargain buy for Arsenal in January.
5) Riyad Mahrez
Another former target who Wenger desperately wanted to sign, but the Leicester City man opted to stay put. Mahrez has previously shown what he is capable of and would be a good addition to the Gunners squad. A man who already knows what it takes to win the Premier League, the 26-year-old would be a perfect replacement for Ozil.
The Algerian winger has contributed four goals and four assists to Leicester City this season, and on his day he is capable of wreaking havoc on any defense. Mahrez possesses a skill set that is very similar to Ozil, and he would be a cheaper yet tested alternative for the German.
If I were Arsene Wenger, I’d sign both Draxler and Fekir. The former is an absolute goal poacher and the latter has a never-ending knack for goals. While the likes of Forsberg and Lemar have no experience of playing in the Premier League, Mahrez would prove a cheaper replacement for Ozil. However, it remains to be seen which player Arsene Wenger has in his mind. Either way, it would be a busy January transfer window at the Emirates.