2013/14 English Premier League
A German-born son of a Turkish immigrant, Ozil brings finesse and improvisation to the midfield of both club and country. His magical left-foot can open any door and his stats show him to be Europe's most prolific provider in recent years.
Ozil was born in the old Ruhr mining town of Gelsenkirchen and spent his formative years at leading local outfit Schalke. On making the first team there, he was described as 'the next big thing', but he eventually fell out with club management and moved on to Bremen in January 2008.
Starring in the Bundesliga and with the Germany Under-21 side saw him make the step up and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa ensured that he was placed among Europe's top young talents, with Real Madrid wasting little time in signing him ahead of the 2010-11 season.
Three successful seasons at Madrid saw Ozil establish himself as one of Europe's finest footballers; he produced numerous assists -- particularly for team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo -- as Madrid won the 2011-2012 La Liga title. Ozil also continued to shine on the international stage with Germany, so it was a surprise when -- seemingly at the peak of his powers -- Madrid let him leave on transfer deadline day in September 2013.
Real's loss was Arsenal's gain as the Gunners smashed their club record transfer fee, paying £42.4 million to bring Ozil to North London.
Strengths: His control on the ball is excellent, has great vision and can unlock a defence with his creativity. Also boasts a powerful shot from distance.
Weaknesses: Sometimes inconsistent, he can go missing and does not have great physical power.
Career high: A starring role in Germany's dissection of England at the 2010 World Cup.
Career low: The 2009 UEFA Cup final, as his Werder Bremen side went down 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk after extra-time.
Style: Skilful, creative, an impressive flair midfielder.
Quotes: ''We in Germany are prone to rave about foreign players. We praise Wayne Rooney to the heavens, likewise (Cristiano) Ronaldo or Messi. But we have our own Messi. Our Messi is Ozil.'' Germany Under-21 manager Horst Hrubesch, 2009.
Trivia: His nickname in Bremen was "der Neue Diego" (the next Diego) after his Brazilian predecessor. It is easy to argue that he has already surpassed his achievements.
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