Mesut Ozil Debut: Arsenal Record Signing Will Compound Sunderland Misery

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2013

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 25:  Mesut Oezil of Germany attends a press conference ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final match against Italy at the Germany press centre  on June 25, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

The news that Gunners fans worldwide will have been waiting upon with bated breath: BBC Sport’s David Ornstein confirms that Mesut Ozil would indeed receive his first Arsenal start this weekend.

Update: Arsene Wenger has since confirmed on Sky Sports News that Mesut Ozil starts today.

The German international was said to have been facing some fitness concerns through illness but makes the trip to the North-East and will be examined to the molecular level as he gains his first minutes as a Premier League player.

The £42.5 million man couldn’t hope for a much easier start either, as he travels to a side currently bent out of shape and on a downward slope of form.

The Black Cats have taken just one point from their opening three matches and are a defensively-suspect outfit at the moment, having already conceded five goals this term.

What’s more, John O’Shea’s sending off at Selhurst Park a fortnight ago means that the Irishman will be absent for the Stadium of Light hosts, creating a sizable void in the centre of Sunderland’s defence.

It’s in that exact position that Ozil will be looking to do his damage, too, with Olivier Giroud up ahead of him and already enjoying some fine form this season.

If the Frenchman’s three goals in his last three games weren’t impressive enough, it will be Ozil’s job to ensure that Giroud has an even better supply through the middle of the pitch as opposed to the wing ammunition that the striker has largely fed off so far this campaign.

As Squawka statistics show, the 24-year-old’s main influence comes from the edge of the opposition area, prowling and ready to leap on any scraps that may present themselves.

The one goal that Sunderland have conceded from open play this season just happened to have been scored in that exact part of the pitch by Crystal Palace’s Stuart O’Keefe, the rest being scored from corner and penalty scenarios.

While his main contributions may be in supply, Ozil does have the knack for a goal, having netted nine times in 32 La Liga appearances last season.

This weekend will be the first inkling as to what sort of prominence the playmaker will have within Arsene Wenger’s side, whether it’s as the starring man or as just another conduit as he was in the Spanish capital.

Regardless of that prominence, Ozil is set to get things off to a bright start in the English top flight in a fixture that makes for a relatively-simple transition from Spain.