Mesut Ozil’s agent has claimed that the former Arsenal midfielder will switch to eSports when his playing days end as the Germany midfielder continues to be sidelined by Fenerbahce.
The Turkish club had removed Özil from the squad for disciplinary reasons in the spring – a return of the 33-year-old seems unlikely.
“He will go more into eSports, play games himself and maybe become an eSports player,” said Dr. Erkut Sogut the Daily Telegraph.
“He’s really good at Fortnite to be honest and I think one day I wouldn’t be surprised if he started competing.
“He owns a team – M10 Esports – and he has players. He has a casino in Germany. He has football like FIFA and Fortnite.”
Back in March, Özil was left out of Fenerbahce’s first-team after being substituted at half-time in a game at Konyaspor, despite being the team’s captain and one of their key players since moving to Istanbul in January 2021.
Özil was a key figure in Ismail Kartal’s side’s attack last season. He has scored nine goals and recorded three assists in all competitions.
The Turkish club’s president Ali Koc had revealed late last year that Ozil was ‘unhappy’ at the club because he wanted to play more, but manager Kartal struggled to get the best out of the midfielder.
“Özil wants to play more,” said Koc in November. “From now on he has to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of the equation. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce.
“Our coach also has to try to figure out how to get the best out of Özil. That’s not a problem, despite what the media is saying. Mesut is unhappy because he doesn’t play regularly.”
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Why did Özil leave Arsenal?
The former Germany international left Arsenal amid a cloud of controversy last year after the midfielder fell out with Gunners manager Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard exiled the German despite reportedly being on a £350,000-a-week contract at the Emirates Stadium for failing to comply with the “non-negotiable things” Arteta wanted from his players.
Arteta dropped Özil from his Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of last season, meaning the midfielder has not played a single mandatory minute for the Gunners between his last appearance for the club in March 2020 and his departure in January 2021 .
During his final season at the Emirates Stadium, Özil accused Arsenal of failing to return his loyalty. He also went against the club’s decision to let the team’s mascot, Gunnersaurus, go as games were being played behind closed doors – by offering to refund the wages of Jerry Quy, the employee who donned the dinosaur suit.
Meanwhile, Arsenal backed away from Özil’s allegations against China in 2019, with the German claiming the country is persecuting Uyghur Muslims.
When Özil was dropped from the Gunners’ first-team squad at the start of the 2020/21 season, the midfielder posted on social media: “I’m really deeply disappointed that I haven’t been registered for the Premier League season for the time being.
“On signing my new contract in 2018, I swore my loyalty and allegiance to the club I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.
“As I just learned, loyalty is hard to come by these days. I’ve always tried to stay positive from week to week that maybe there’s a chance of returning to the squad soon. That’s why I’ve been silent until now. “
Özil helped Arsenal to three FA Cups during his time in North London and made over 250 appearances for the Gunners.
The German failed to score at Fenerbahce in his first half of the season but had scored eight league goals for the club this season.
Özil’s mixed legacy at Arsenal
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright speaking in January 2021:
“Ozil arrived at Emirates Stadium as one of football’s most exciting creative talents. A supremely gifted playmaker who had lit up the 2010 World Cup with Germany and whose assists at Real Madrid – of which there were many – made him Cristiano Ronaldo’s favourite had teammate.
“It was just 11 minutes into his debut, a 3-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, for Ozil to register his first for Arsenal, expertly controlling a long pass from Kieran Gibbs and then the ball for Olivier Giroud to finish There would be many more moments like this in the years to come.
“Ozil has always had different sides to him. Good and bad. Stunning and head-scratching. But few players can match his technical brilliance. Few can see the game the way he does, let alone do the things he does does with the ball at his feet.
“His first two years in north London yielded back-to-back FA Cups on either side of a World Cup triumph with Germany. Season 16 was an exhilarating display of craftsmanship and creativity.
“Over the course of that season, Özil has had 28 goals directly in play in 45 games. He has provided 19 assists in the Premier League, one below Thierry Henry’s record, and created 146 chances, a staggering total that remains the highest in a single season , since Opta began recording records almost two decades ago.
“2018 has seen the ups and downs of his Arsenal career, from signing a new contract worth a staggering £350,000 a week to being summarily lost a place in the squad.
“Meanwhile, Özil Wenger, his most ardent supporter at Arsenal, lost and announced his retirement from the national team after a turbulent World Cup season with Germany.
“Unai Emery [Wenger’s successor] certainly felt that motivation was a problem. In an interview with Özil, he spoke of “provoking friction” to get more out of him Sky Sports in January 2019. But those efforts were unsuccessful, culminating in Özil’s omission from the side just months into his tenure.
“Ozil, seemingly unwilling to stick to Arteta’s ‘non-negotiables’ and unable to repeat his creative output of previous seasons, was sidelined, a costly drain on resources at a time , in which the club urgently needed them.
“Arteta insists he gave Özil every chance to reclaim his place in the team before excluding him from his Premier League and Europa League squads, implying he failed to take them.”