Mesut Ozil was supposed to go on and become an Arsenal legend, but his career in north London ended somewhat underwhelmingly.
The World Cup winner’s contract was due to expire at the end of this current season but an agreement was reached for an early termination, paving the way for the German-born midfielder to join his boyhood club – ending his Arsenal career somewhat prematurely.
Ozil represented Germany at international level but being of Turkish descent, the 32-year-old took the opportunity to move to Istanbul when it came, ending what had become a difficult period for him at the Emirates in the process.
But so far, how has he fared with Fenerbahce?
To date, the former Real Madrid star has made five appearances for the club in all competitions. Four of those have come in the Süper Lig, playing a total of 211 minutes in the Turkish top flight.
Ozil is yet to contribute a goal or an assist, though he was always going to need some time to get up to speed having been left out of Mikel Arteta’s squad, his involvement being limited to the training ground for months.
Does his underwhelming start to life as a Fenerbahce player prove Arsenal right in freezing him out and moving him on prior to the expiration of his lucrative contract? It’s still too early to say, but on the little we’ve seen so far, he looks a million miles away from the player who dazzled in the white of Real Madrid and, at times, the red and white of the Gunners.
With Fenerbahce just three points behind league leaders Galatasaray, they are still in the race for the Turkish league title and a fit and in-form Ozil could certainly provide them with a vital boost. The question is; can coach Erol Bulut get the best out of him between now and the end of the season?
Of the four league fixtures Ozil has been involved in, he has started two and entered the field as a substitute in two. Fener have won two and lost two and while the sample size is small, a combination of the results and his insipid performances so far make it difficult to argue he has immediately improved the side.
Perhaps next season, once he’s had a full pre-season with his new teammates and manager, will be a better time to judge whether or not his move to Istanbul was the right one. Given the division Ozil caused among the Arsenal faithful during the back end of his Gunners career, some will not be surprised to learn he’s made little impact in Turkey so far.