Despite playing in the shadow of Brazilian maestro Diego at Werder Bremen, Mezut Ozil, a 19-year-old playmaker has earned himself the nickname â€œDer Neue Diegoâ€ (“the new Diego”).Â As he sets out to prove that he has the potential to live up to his more celebrated Brazilian team mate.
Mesut Ozil is a central attacking midfielder, also capable of playing on the left flank, he is an exciting player that has powered himself into Bremen’s starting lineup with some dazzling displays in recent weeks. According to the IMScouting databse, Ozilâ€™s estimated market value is â‚¬6,000K, although this is sure to go up following some terrific recent performances.
Ozil was prominent as Werder scored five in consecutive weeks against Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim at the end of September. The playmaker set up two and scored a fine goal against Bayern Munich and then a week later he scored two against Hoffenheim in a 5-4 thriller, with both goals coming from his powerful left-foot.
His performance against the â€œVillage Teamâ€ was notable as the home side had been pegged back to 4-4 after leading the match 4-1 and it was Ozil who popped up with the winner. And it is not just in the Bundesliga where the German Under-21 is thriving. He also proved that he can play in the Champions League when his perfect cross found Claudio Pizzaro who scored Bremen’s equalizer in the San Siro against Italian giants Inter Milan last week. (Highlights of Ozil in all three games mentioned above can be seen here.)
Last January Bremen paid 4.3 million euros to grab this 5.9ft playmaker from FC Schalke 04. Ozil is one of the most talented players to come out of Schalke’s youth academy in recent years, and he made his debut for the senior team at the age of 17 and also played in the Champions League for â€œThe Royal Blues.â€
Ozilâ€™s relationship with Schalke deteriorated when the young starlet refused to renew his contract, and he was dropped from the team. As his contract was due to expire, Schalke were forced to sell him and Bremen were so convinced by his talent that they paid a record German transfer fee for a teenager.
According to the transfer gossip pages Manchester United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich were also interested in Ozil before he moved to Schalke on the final day of the transfer window on January 31, 2008.
He decided to play for Bremen, since the pressure to perform at Werder is not as high as in Europe’s biggest clubs. Some commentators predicted the youngster would struggle without the support of his family, who are of Turkish descent, who stayed behind in his home town of Gelsenkirchen. Bremen were patient with the young star, who played 12 league games and scored one goal last season and now they are reaping the benefits.
He has been selected as player of the month in September by the famous German football magazine Kicker, and Bremen’s sports chief Klaus Allofsis a big fan: “For me it is only a matter of time until he plays in the national team. He has the potential. But he must be more stable and strengthen himself. Physically he is not yet at the required level, he lacks a bit of robustness.”
And full international recognition for Ozil cannot be far off. Ozil has excelled at Under-21 level scoring four goals in eight games and this attacking central midfielder with a cultured left foot is all set to be one of the biggest stars in Europe.
Video evidence of Mesut Ozil can be seen here.