In today’s news roundup, we have a statement from Arsenal’s most expensive transfer, Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker has declared his ambition to win the Ballon d’Or and has also said that he feels that Arsenal are the club that will help him with that goal. More from the World Cup winner as he speaks about his injury this season and his subsequent improvement.
In other stories, Chelsea’s veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech has been linked with a move across London to the Emirates. The Czech Republic international has found himself on the bench for most of the season as Thibaut Courtois has cemented the No. 1 spot under Jose Mourinho. This rumour comes hot on the heels of rumours yesterday that Wojciech Szczesny may be considering his options after being dropped to the bench in favour of David Ospina. All this and more in today’s roundup.
Arsenal star confident of Ballon d’Or win in coming years
Arsenal’s German playmaker Mesut Ozil is a class above most other midfielders. He leaves the running around and chasing the ball to other men, preferring instead to effortlessly create chances for others with sublime grace and skill (and minimal movement). Already being hailed as the best in the world before his switch to Arsenal from Real Madrid, he has since then gone on to win the World Cup. Now, Ozil has set his sights on his next target; winning the Ballon d’Or. The prestigious award has been neatly divided up between superstars Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo for the past five years, however Ozil believes that his time will come soon.
Speaking to ESPN, he said:
Should I continue to improve myself and stay healthy, I want to get my hands on the Ballon d’Or in the upcoming years. I am convinced that it can work out. I am headed in the right direction.
I am a world champion and play at a top club in the Premier League. It’s far more physical here [England] than in Spain or in the Bundesliga. I constantly have bruises, but it only makes me stronger, and physically I feel better than ever before.
The World Cup winner also took the time to speak about Arsenal’s performance in the League, saying:
I think it’s been very positive [this season].
Of course picking up my injury was a negative because I missed a lot of games. But if you look at the league and my performances, I’m really satisfied.
I’d say I’m on the right way. What’s most important is that I perform well consistently. The team support me really well and the manager gives me his trust.
I’ve missed a lot of football and I think it shows on the pitch that I worked very hard during that time. So now I just want to… help the team and I’m on the right path.
The most important thing is that we win games as a team. Of course it’s nice if I can give an assist or score a goal, but really, what’s most important is that we are successful as a team.
We’re rightfully near the top of the table and in the semi-finals of the FA Cup again. I think we can win trophies again this year, and if we do that, we will be satisfied.
Petr Cech to replace Wojciech Szczesny over the summer?
It is a familiar tale, this one, as two players who find themselves out of favour at their clubs consider their options ahead of the summer transfer window. Arsenal’s usual No. 1 Wojciech Szczesny has not played regularly for the club since the New Year’s Day fiasco against Southampton, and has been forced to watch Colombian David Ospina start each game for the club. This has surely riled him up, and he has also been encouraged by the likes of former Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek to leave the club if his playing time is not guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Chelsea keeper Petr Cech still has the goods, even though he is not as young as he once was. Mourinho however has replaced him with the younger, better model; Thibaut Courtois. It is hard to imagine a keeper of Cech’s calibre being satisfied with being a bench warmer, and a summer move for him away from Stamford Bridge could be on the cards. Provided that Szczesny does choose to leave Arsenal, then bringing in Cech would be a good move and his experience would be invaluable. The ‘Special One’, never one for sentimentality, will surely allow the shot stopper to leave for the Emirates should the offer be made and all that remains to be seen is whether Arsene Wenger feels it is the right decision.
Adding weight to the rumours is Cech’s Chelsea team mate Eden Hazard, who has this to say:
Thibaut and Petr are both very good, and when you are on the bench of course you want to play.
He knows he has the quality to play at a good club, and of course if I’m a good player and I’m on the bench I want to leave – this is football.
What do you think? Is Cech the ideal replacement for Szczesny?
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