COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Arsenal fans were in uproar after Mesut Ozil was left out of the 40-man shortlist for the UEFA Team of the Year and it’s easy to see why given his performances last season.
The playmaker was a stand-out performer for Arsene Wenger’s side, though he has constantly battled criticism since his arrival in London over three years ago.
Ozil clearly has bags of talent and when on form, can single-handedly win games for Arsenal but inconsistencies have punctured his Premier League career.
It is for this reason there is always debate surrounding the claim he is a world-class attacking midfielder but his exclusion from the shortlist is wrong. Uefa bigwigs have made a right hash of their shortlist.
The German was a regular= for club and country, who both maintained high standards last season and he scored nine goals in 56 appearances in all competitions throughout the campaign.
While his goal-scoring record can be matched or bettered by a number of European midfielders, his assists tally of 19 in 35 Premier League appearances was far better than any other in the league – Christian Eriksen was closest on a tally of 13.
Ozil also played in all of Germany’s six European Championship games, including their 2-0 semi-final defeat to hosts France and scored in the crucial game against Italy.
The Arsenal man was beaten to the nomination by teammate Aaron Ramsey, who scored five goals in 31 Premier League appearances and fellow Welshman Joe Allen, who only started just eight games for Liverpool in the league throughout the 2016-17 campaign.
In other Arsenal news, the club are chasing this young left-back.