Three Reasons Why This European Playmaker Could Be An Upgrade Over Mesut Ozil For Arsenal

Salzburg's Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai celebrates scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match Salzburg v Genk in Salzburg, Austria, on September 17, 2019. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal have recently been keeping tabs on Dominik Szoboszlai. The Gunners were reportedly monitoring the RB Salzburg playmaker during the Austrian club’s clash against Liverpool this midweek. He impressed as well even though the Reds narrowly beat his side.

In this article, we will discuss three reasons why Szoboszlai could be an upgrade over Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, whose days at the Emirates Stadium are numbered.

A more agile and dynamic individual

Standing at 1.86m, Szoboszlai is significantly taller than Ozil. But, he is still the more agile individual, and his dynamic nature is what makes him such a sought after playmaker in Europe.

Indeed, the Hungarian international loves to run rings around the opposition defence. His quick feet coupled with his imposing figure gives him the edge when it comes to carrying the ball around the final third. 

Unlike Ozil, Szoboszlai is full of enthusiasm. He is also known for his tenacity and willingness to close down the opposition – something Ozil has lacked in his armoury throughout his footballing career. It means the Salzburg star can play a key role in the first line of the press, putting pressure on the ball-playing centre-backs.

Long shots and set-piece prowess

Szoboszlai is not a traditional playmaker, who is gifted with immense technical quality and looks to thread through passes in between the backline. On the contrary, the Hungarian is an explosive attacker, who is ideally suited to a team that plays aggressive, attacking football.

Part of Szoboszlai’s gameplay that makes him such an exciting player is his long-range shooting prowess. Indeed, the 18-year-old is equipped with a vicious right foot that allows him to test the opposing goalkeeper from range. The youngster scored a lot of goals from outside the box last season.

Moreover, Szoboszlai is proficient from set-pieces and score a few goals from dead-ball situations. Ozil, in contrast, hasn’t been that productive from set-pieces of late while the German barely shoots from distance.

Age and versatility

It’s fair to point out that Szoboszlai is only 18 years old. That means he could become an asset for Arsenal in the long-term, provided he can integrate to the high-paced nature of the Premier League. As for Ozil, he is slowly heading towards the wrong side of his 30s, and his decline has been rather evident.

Furthermore, Szoboszlai is also more versatile as he can not only play in central midfield but also on the wings. Ozil, too, can feature as a wide-attacker but is not very comfortable playing that role.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.