clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mesut Özil transfer rumors go flying around the interwebs

New, comments

Is he leaving? Probably not.

Probably not going anywhere
Probably not going anywhere
Shaun Botterill

Here's the thing about international weeks. Guys (and no mistake, they're almost always guys) who write about football for a living need to feed the beast, and most weeks the beast has no shortage of food - there's league games going on all over the world, which means there's plenty of content to be delivered, which keeps everybody happy.

But in an international week, things are different. Things slow down, as club activity ebbs while internationals flow, but still, the beast needs to be fed. The beast doesn't rest; the beast needs pixels, page views, and column inches, otherwise it gets mad and starts to eat itself.

In today's edition of Gotta Feed The Beast, various sources are claiming that Mesut Özil is unhappy at Arsenal and would be willing to leave in January, with Bayern Munich reportedly sniffing around Colney and asking how much an Özil goes for these days.

Here's the thing about every single one of these stories - and there are a lot of them flying around today.  Not a single one contains an attributable quote, or even a "sources close to Özil have confirmed" or "Sources inside the Arsenal camp say".  Usually, if there's even a single grain of truth to a story like this, you'll hear something like that, as a source who doesn't want to go on the record will confirm what a reporter thinks by hiding behind the shield labeled "a reliable source".

The other thing about these stories is that, in current "journalism" fashion, they're all sourced from a single story in something called Football Grapevine, which 9 (not even 90!) seconds of research indicates is a column in the Daily Mail.  So some bored hack at the Mail has decided that Özil's unhappy, because Özil is a big name and the Mail needs page hits on a slow day; that hack has "reported" on it; and almost every other news outlet has then "reported" on that story as if it had the weight of truth to it, which it almost certainly doesn't.

In Arsene Wenger's history as a manager, there have been a handful of occasions where he's bought a player who clearly wasn't going to work out after only a short period of time - Francis "Fox in the box" Jeffers being the most obvious example.  But never once has he spent significant, club-record level money on a player and given up on him after just over a year; for all the criticisms of Wenger over the years, his eye for talent has never really been questioned, and a reversal on Özil now would be a pretty big shock.

In short, I'd be utterly stunned if Mesut Özil was leaving in January, and you should take the Mail's "journalism" as seriously as you'd take this news if it came from your next door neighbor.

Not satisfied with that answer from an Arsenal perspective? Ryan over at Bavarian Football Works has a Bayern-centered take on the whole thing. (Spoiler alert: He doesn't think it'll happen either)