Date: 14th March 2021 at 7:35pm
Written by:

Patrick Straaten has featured on the latest edition of Sunday Vibes to discuss the performances of the Premier League managers so far this season.

Whilst discussing Arsenal’s 2020/21 campaign, Van Straaten brought up what he felt was one of ’s biggest mistakes going into the season in not having an attacking midfielder.

The Gunners allowed Mesut Özil to leave in January to Fenerbahce after the German attacking-midfielder was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League squad for the 2020/21 season.

The 32-year-old signed for the north London side back in 2013 from Real Madrid for a fee believed to be in the region of £42m.

Van Straaten criticised Arsenal’s start to the season which he put down to Arteta making a big mistake with his squad selection ahead of the season.

He said: “I think that one of his major, major mistakes was going into the season without a proper attacking midfielder. Like, that was absolutely ridiculous.

“And the thing is, since Christmas, if you look at the stats since Christmas Day, Arsenal have been one of the best sides in the league.”

Was Arteta right to leave Özil out of the squad?





Since Özil signed for the Turkish side he has featured six times for them in the Süper Lig but has failed to score or assist in the 344 minutes on the pitch (via Transfermarkt).

TIF Thoughts on Van Straaten’s comments…

Mikel Arteta did struggle at the beginning of the season, with Pierre-Emerick failing to continue from where he left off in the previous campaign. Would Özil have changed that scenario? Maybe, the German has been in a similar situation to Gareth Bale where he has gone an extensive length of time not playing regular minutes so may not have had an instant impact.

However, as we have seen with Bale, given time to reintegrate, you could reap the rewards.

That said, the introduction of Emile Smith Rowe in attacking midfield saw an upturn in form for the Gunners, so perhaps there was another reason for Ozil not being selected – though it certainly appears his absence and a lack of a viable replacement scuppered Arsenal’s and Arteta’s progress.