As we entered the final few hours of Transfer Deadline Day, one eagerly anticipated announcement was made which made the red half of London erupt in celebrations. Arsenal had just announced the capture of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club-record £42.4 million – the biggest transfer of the summer and the second highest of all time in England.
David Moyes, fresh into his new role as United head-honcho, saw this and went into overdrive as he was the only manager left to bring in a big name to the club. He managed to sign his former charge Marouane Fellaini from old club Everton for £27.5 million just in time, in an attempt to stamp his authority and power as Manchester United manager.
What has followed since has been a stark difference in fortunes for Ozil, and for Fellaini and for Moyes in particular. Ozil alone has more goals and more assists than the entire United midfield, put together. The best way to showcase this was the weekend round of fixtures, where Ozil was at his dazzling best as he helped himself to a goal against Everton, while the Moyes led United team fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle.
What is more dramatic at this juncture is the fact that Moyes had himself admitted that he declined the chance to sign Ozil, stating that he simply ‘did not need him’ at Old Trafford, report Daily Mail. A move to the Emirates Stadium then followed for the German international, the effects of which are clear in Arsenal’s fortunes who sit at the top of the pile with a 5 point cushion, while United are languishing in 9th place, struggling against slipping into the bottom half of the table after just 14 games.
As Moyes headed down the tunnel after being beaten by his former side and seeing his midfield put in another below par performance, what would he be thinking at that moment? Had things been different if Moyes had gone for Ozil when he had the chance? Is Moyes regretting not pursuing Ozil?