Stats Show Mesut Ozil Is Still a Top Premier League Player Despite Disappearing Reputation

Jamie Spencer
90Min

​ Mesut Ozil was given a real battering by critics in the aftermath of Arsenal's north London derby at the hands of fierce rivals Tottenham at the weekend. The German failed to make any sort of impact on the game, further fuelling his reputation as a big-game shirker.


Fans are increasingly fed up with Ozil's apparent inability to stand up and be counted when the pressure is on and many are coming to terms with the idea that a summer exit - he still has just one year left on his contract - might actually be best for all parties at this stage.

It is a difficult one. Despite his flaws, the former Real Madrid man is still innately talented and technically among of the best players plying their trade in the Premier League today.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

Ozil has a killer eye for a pass and it was only last season that he was widely heralded as a supreme 'assist king'. And it is those abilities that still actually see him lead the Premier League this season in one important statistical category.

Data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal that Ozil is now the division's most prolific passer in the opposition half, overtaking Manchester United's Paul Pogba on Sunday.

Ozil has successfully completed a league high 1,227 passes in the opposition half in 2016/17 compared to Pogba's tally of 1,213 - the £89m Frenchman has also had to deal with more than his fair share of critics over the last 10 months.

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David Silva at Manchester City has completed 1,168 passes in the opposition half, while Ozil's Gunners team-mate Granit Xhaka is the only other player in the Premier League to have made at least 1,100 such passes.

Of all the top 10 most prolific passers in the opposition half, Ozil's accuracy of 85.62% is only bettered by Silva (86.07%), Xhaka (86.48%) and Chelsea's N'Golo Kante (87.50%). The Arsenal man is significantly more accurate than Spurs rival Christian Eriksen at 78.06%.

In terms of passes all over the pitch, Ozil sits 11th in the Premier League with 1,533 successful attempts to his name. Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta lead the division with 1,884.

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Ozil is very much an attack-minded player, though, and so as much as 80% of his successful passes have been made in the opposition half. For Silva that figure is 73.46%, while for the more box-to-box Pogba it is 66.80%.

Top 10 Premier League Passers in the Opposition Half in 2016/17: 

​Player Passes Completed (Opp. Half)​ % Successful (Opp. Half)​
​Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) ​1,227 85.62%​
Paul Pogba (Man Utd)​ 1,213​ 82.18%​
David Silva​ (Man City) ​1,168 ​86.07%
​Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) 1,110​ 86.48%​
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)​ 1,092​ 83.74%​
Christian Eriksen (Spurs)​ 1,071​ 78.06%​
Ander Herrera (Man Utd)​ 1,059​ 84.25%​
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)​ 1,057​ 87.50%​
Fernandinho (Man City)​ 1,036​ 83.62%​
James Milner (Liverpool)​ 1,006​ ​76.50%

Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League

EA Sports


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