Mesut Ozil is a player who can easily survive the arrival of Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale's arrival should not be the catalyst for Mesut Ozil to leave Real Madrid. Bale's arrival was always going to spark interest in how exactly Real Madrid would offset the cost of the signing, but that should avoid Ozil.
The Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel recently reported that it would be achieved by offloading Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria to Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger needing to spend money to placate fans hungry for new blood.
Mesut Ozil should really consider his future. The worlds best play maker shouldn't have to sit on the bench.— rafey ahmed (@RafeyAhmedM) September 1, 2013
While that was always unlikely to happen, the Bale transfer continues to generate much interest in Ozil in particular. For his part, the German has been very forthright about his position in the team, as well as his contract. In an interview reported by David Hytner of the Guardian, Ozil outlined his current situation:
I have a contract with Real Madrid and I am staying here. I want to be successful. A lot has been written in the media about other teams but I have the coach's confidence and I feel very good. Also, I have a contract until 2016. I have a very good understanding with all my teammates and it is a pleasure and an honour to play for Real Madrid.
On the addition of Bale, Ozil was equally candid in an interview with German newspaper Bild (h/t The Express):
At Real Madrid, we are happy with every player who strengthens the team. That's why I do not have any problems with the signing of Bale. There's always competition for places when you play at a big club like Real Madrid. I know how to deal with it. I will never leave a club due to the stiff competition for places.
Ever since Isco scored his first goal in pre-season, certain RM fans prefer him over Ozil. As a playmaker, no one matches Mesut.— Batoul (@BatoulHussein) September 1, 2013
That didn't seem the case on Monday, when The Mirror's Darren Lewis reported that Ozil went straight to the tunnel, showered and headed for the team bus after being substituted during the 1-0 win at Granada.
Nor does it change the fact that Real cannot realistically finance the Bale deal without selling some players. However, Ozil should remain with the club and fight for his place.
Firstly, he's only 24 years old. He's arguably reached the peak of professional football, so any move he made during these years would inevitably be a step back for him.
Any club he went to that even ranks on the same level as Real would employ a rotation system engineered in such a way as to make it impossible for any player to start every game.
There isn't a club in the world that would buy Ozil and then run him into the ground by playing him in every game. His annoyance at being substituted is understandable, but longevity is the key to a successful career.
More importantly, however, why would he leave Madrid because of Bale?
The two players may be comparable on first glance, but in reality there is space for them to comfortably coexist. Ozil's tally of assists—30 in the last two seasons alone—shows that he is not a selfish player. He understands his role and plays it brilliantly.
At Real he has the freedom to operate in a wide role or drift in centrally, controlling the space and linking with Cristiano Ronaldo to unlock defences. Bale may initially get in the way of this, but it's more likely to affect Ronaldo than Ozil.
Despite Real's apparent need to sell to pay for Bale, there's no reason to sell Ozil now. He hasn't yet reached his full potential, both in terms of on-field performance and transfer market value.
It would be bad business to part with an incredible talent not yet in his prime. Real may have only paid €15 million for him, but selling him now—regardless of the price—would be a missed opportunity.