City Target: Mesut Özil (£20m)
In the build up to this summer`s transfer market I have decided to compile reports on the less well known players that Manchester City are apparently chasing. If we manage to finish in the coveted fourth spot and earn Champions League football for next season then we will be able to attract the biggest names in world football, meaning that this could be the most exciting period in terms of summer transfers for a Blue despite the major overhaul last summer with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor arriving at Eastlands.
Firstly, we look at Mezut Ozil, the 21 year-old Attacking Midfielder:
The season of 2009/2010 has exposed a gaping hole in the Manchester City armour and that is in the attacking midfield region. Last campaign, Stephen Ireland earned numerous plaudits for his match winning performances in that position of Mark Hughes` team. Ireland was given a licence to roam and was allowed to make bursts forward into the opposition`s 18 yard box which saw him score 13 goals in all competitions.
However, the ride has not been so smooth this season. Ireland struggled to adapt to Mark Hughes` new system from the very beginning as he was asked to play as a more complete midfielder that did more "sitting back" than "bursting forward." The forward running was allowed only for the likes of Craig Bellamy, Robinho, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlos Tevez. The Irishman has suffered a number of injuries since then which have set him back repeatedly and any form that he has managed to muster up disintegrated almost immediately.
Anyway, Ireland has also struggled to adapt to Mancini`s 4-4-2 system that requires two holding midfielders. Therefore, the team has had no-one willing to drive-on from midfield with the ball at their feet, intent on making a pass. Currently, we have Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Patrick Vieira. All of whom prefer the more reclusive side of the game (breaking up the play and distributing the ball to the likes of Bellers and Tevez). Patrick Vieira is slightly better than the other two at picking a pass but none of them perform in the way that Ireland did last season, whether the system allows it or not.
What's he like?
I see Mezut Ozil as one of the potential answer`s to our problem. He`s only 21, he scores goals, he`s 6 foot, he can play in a number of positions, he can pick a pass with ease and he`s creative as they come. He was one of the stars of U21`s Euro 2008 and put in a man of the match performance in a 4-0 win over England. Hopefully, he will be able to show the world what he`s about come July in South Africa and I am confident he will have a brilliant tournament and show everyone what a fantastic young talent he is.
Ozil has a great scoring record that has seen him find the net 10 times this season in 26 appearances for Werder Bremen and he`s made 8 appearances already for the German National side, scoring once. However, the 21-year-old is known more for his playmaking abilities and his ability to spray passes all over the pitch. I`d really like to see Mancini go for a player, who isn`t at a world class level yet but has the capabilities to become one of best players in the world and Ozil fits that description perfectly
Ozil moved to Werder for €4.3m but he`s probably going to cost around the £20m mark but believe me, this is a small price to pay for such a talented player. However, Werder Bremen would prefer a figure closer to the £30m mark for who is widely regarded as the future of German football. Just think, we payed £19m for Jo for god`s sake!
Can we get him?
Werder Bremen currently lie in 5th place of the Bundesliga, which isn`t ideal if they want to secure Champions League football (1st or 2nd) or Europa League football (3rd). And they are five points off Bayern Leverkusen in 3rd. Therefore, I think we have a very good chance of securing Ozil`s services providing we qualify for the Champions League ourselves. We are desperately in need of a player like Ozil and I think the prospect of teaming up with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor will really excite the youngster.
Mezut Ozil`s Stats:
Position: Attacking Midfield
Height: 1.82m (6ft)
Werder Apps: 87
Werder Goals: 16
09/10 Werder Apps: 26
09/10 Werder Goals: 10
Germany U21 Apps: 16
Germany U21 Goals: 5
Germany Apps: 8
Germany Goals: 1