Mesut Ozil is reaching the end of his contract with Arsenal and does not look very likely to carry on at the Emirates next season. The German has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks and his ties with Jose Mourinho have added fuel to that fire. Ozil is a player of the highest quality and would be taken in for being a part of the Manchester United attacking midfield. That position is currently occupied by Armenian mega star Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
We take a look at the two midfielders objectively and compare them head to head:
Ozil’s running is good but he does not pack a punch as a counter attacker. The German is a quality player and he likes to make sudden runs when needed. Mkhitaryan, on the other hand, is pretty quick and has the ability to keep up with speed demons like Martial and Rashford while on the counter. Mkhitaryan picks up speed very nicely and he has the ability to keep running till the final whistle.
Ozil is not very good at this part of the game. He is known for being another one of Arsene Wenger’s crafty but fragile creators. Ozil does not take a hard challenge very well and is not the guy you want to have while defending a slim lead. He is, however better in the air than Mkhitaryan.
Mkhitaryan is not very good at the physical aspects of the game either, but he is better than Ozil. Heading aside, he beats the German at every checkpoint.
Ozil is a passer of the finest quality. He has the ability to find a man making a run from near his own goal-line. Mesut Ozil’s left foot is a giver. The assist king of European football is easily the winner here. Mkhitaryan is good with distribution and through balls but Ozil’s quality is on a different level in this part of the game.
Ozil’s best position is the central attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 or the hole in a 4-4-1-1. Wenger has tried him in the wings, up front and in central midfield. The 29-year old is the most effective just behind the striker. He can fill a lot of voids, but this is his best position. Mkhitaryan is a player with the ability to chip into multiple positions. He is a part of a star-studded list of players who can play in both attacking and wide midfield. To be direct, Mkhitaryan is the more versatile midfield general.
Mkhitaryan has been with United for over a year now. So he is well acquainted with the surroundings and is in tune with his mates in red. Ozil, on the other hand, has played under Mourinho for a long time and even won the La Liga. His ability to pick a runner from anywhere on the pitch will help the United manager’s tactics and having been in the Premier League for a long time, he would blend in easily.
Both are equally gifted with what they can do on the ball. You can look at Mkhitaryan’s scorpion kick or Ozil’s goal against Ludogorets from last season. Both players can work wonders with the ball at their feet. Given that Mkhitaryan’s weak foot is better, we give the edge to the Armenian here
Ozil would probably be the better fit here. He knows Jose Mourinho’s tactics inside out and his lack of physicality would be easily compensated by the presence of people like Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic or Anthony Martial. With fast players surrounding him, his through balls will be more effective than ever. Besides, we all want to see a midfield that has Mesut Ozil and Paul Pogba.