Given that yesterday was the four-year anniversary of the day Mesut Özil signed with Arsenal, I figured it would be a good time to reflect on Özil’s time at the club so far. And what better way is there to commemorate Mesut Özil than by re-watching his assists?
Here’s my ranking of Özil’s 11 best assists as a Gunner:
11. vs. Everton 3/8/14 - FA Cup Quarterfinal (4-1 win)
Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud 85’
The pass itself is nothing special, but Özil’s subtle wave to Olivier Giroud before receiving the ball is awesome.
10. vs. Tottenham 11/8/15 - Premier League (1-1 draw)
Goalscorer: Kieran Gibbs 77’
Özil’s vision and pinpoint accuracy saves a point against Tottenham.
9. vs. Reading 4/18/15 - FA Cup Semi-Final (2-1 win)
Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez 39’
Özil would go on to assist Alexis’ winning goal in extra-time, but this first goal is a good example of the connection Arsenal’s two biggest stars have developed on the pitch.
8. at Cardiff City 10/30/13 - Premier League (3-0 win)
Goalscorer: Aaron Ramsey 29’
Just a great play all-around. Smart movement up front, a perfect pass, and an excellent finish.
7. at Leicester City 9/26/15 - Premier League (5-2 win)
Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez 57’
Özil’s chipped pass here is spot on - it gives Alexis just enough time to get his head to the ball before Kasper Schmeichel can knock it away. Özil’s little delay to create space before the pass is pretty nice too.
6. vs. Everton 10/26/15 - Premier League (2-1 win)
Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud 36’
Similar to the last goal, Özil delivered an inch-perfect pass to Giroud, putting the ball right in front of the goalkeeper. I love watching this goal.
5. at Sunderland 9/14/13 - Premier League (3-1 win)
Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud 11’
Özil’s Arsenal career got off to a flying start. He helped set up two goals in his first match, and very easily could have had more than one assist. His first touch on this goal here was phenomenal.
4. vs. Watford 3/13/16 - FA Cup Sixth Round (2-1 loss)
Goalscorer: Danny Welbeck 88’
Özil’s combination play is always a joy to watch.
3. vs. Stoke City 9/12/15 - Premier League (2-0 win)
Goalscorer: Theo Walcott 31’
While he’s most dangerous around the opponent’s box, Özil can drop deep and hit a player in stride with a long pass over the top if he needs to.
2. vs. Leicester City 2/14/16 - Premier League (2-1 win)
Goalscorer: Danny Welbeck 90’+5
Unsurprisingly, Arsenal’s most memorable goal from the last few years came courtesy of an Özil assist. Even though the season ended disappointingly, I’m sure we will remember this goal for a long time.
1. vs. Aston Villa 2/1/15 - Premier League (5-0 win)
Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud 8’
Yes, Giroud does a lot of the work here, but the skill Özil shows for this assist is too much for me to ignore. I don’t think there are many other players who would think to pull this off and be able to execute it at the same time.
Özil actually published a lengthy statement on social media yesterday discussing his time with Arsenal, as well as the criticism he and the rest of the team is facing right now. You can read it here if you haven’t already. Hopefully Özil signs a new contract with Arsenal and we get to enjoy more beautiful assists.
What do you think of my list? What’s your favorite Özil assist? Comment down below.