5 Players Who Could Replace Mesut Ozil in Germany’s Starting Lineup

5 min


Arsenal star man Mesut Ozil announced his immediate retirement from international football at the age of 29 this week.

The news shocked the footballing world as Ozil said the reason for his retirement was due to ‘racism and disrespect’, as he has received hate mail and threats since a photo was released of him with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

With Joachim Löw already looking to rebuild his German side after a shock exit at the group stages in the World Cup this summer, he will need to replace Ozil – who has been an ever-present since 2009 and was part of the side which won the World Cup in 2014. 

Here, we look at five potential replacements for the five-time German Player of the Year winner:

5. Max Meyer (Unattached)

The former Schalke man was touted as the one of the world’s best talents when he started to feature for the Bundesliga side five years ago.

Meyer, 22, has only made four appearances for his national side and with himself being a free agent at the moment, it doesn’t look like he will be returning anytime soon. 

With a move to the Premier League looking likely for the midfielder, he may be able to force his way back into Löw’s side, as the German coach is bound to give new players a chance after a disastrous World Cup campaign.

The youngster just needs to reunite with the form he showed in his early days at Schalke and who knows what may happen. 

4. Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen)

Alongside Leroy Sane as one of Germany’s future stars, Brandt will be looking to claim a starting spot in the German side after only making substitute appearances at the World Cup.

The tricky winger was one stand out player who tried to save Germany from the early elimination, but it just wasn’t to be. 

Being a regular with club side Bayern Leverkusen will help the youngster as good performances in the Bundesliga will certainly help him be more influential in the proceedings for the national side.

3. Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich)

As the latest man to sign a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich, Goretzka will want to prove himself on the biggest stage, with stiff completion at the Allianz Arena.

The 23-year-old will want to build on his 16 appearances for the national side, in which he has notched an impressive six goals. These goals have come from a deeper role, so playing the classy midfielder higher up the pitch could offer the Germans more of a lethal threat, as Ozil is known to be a keen creator of goals, rather than the scorer.

With a big season ahead for the the former Schalke man, he will want to impress Löw and try to make himself a regular starter come the Euros.

2. Julian Draxler (PSG)

The Paris Saint-Germain player has already received 46 caps for his country, finding the net on six occasions. 

He could be seen as a straight swap for Ozil as the midfielder is also as influential in behind the striker as he is out on the wing. 

Playing at the highest level with his club football, Löw could see the 24-year-old as a long term successor to the Arsenal mans role, with Draxler proving to be a good creator and scorer of goals. 

1. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

Reus has found himself back in the national side after a string of injuries have held the winger back in recent years. But being one of the players to force his way into the side at the World Cup, after good performances and a goal against Sweden in the second game, Löw could look to give the midfielder a more influential role in the side. 

The 29-year-old has shown his versatility in recent years playing all across the attacking positions in midfield and could be the bright spark to replace his good friend Ozil.

With a wand of a right foot and a good burst of pace, Reus could be the man to link up play between Toni Kroos and Timo Werner and make this German side as dominant as they were in the 2014 World Cup. 

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