Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal both gave debuts to playmakers bought in the summer. For Spurs it was the Dane Christian Eriksen while the Gunners gave Mesut Özil his bow.
The two players are very similar in the way they play and both improved their respective teams but which team got the better deal. Eriksen Tottenham £12 million while Arsenal paid an extra £30 million for Özil. The money automatically looks to give Spurs an advantage but Özil was a international reputation for being the best in his position and that costs money.
The young Dane got his first assist with Tottenham’s opener and played his part in the second. His 90.2% passing accuracy sealed a successful debut for the former Ajax magician. He was not flawless though with corners and free-kicks going wayward.
Özil matched Eriksen by managing an assist but played a part in a further two goals. His pass rate was slightly less than that of Eriksen at 89.9 %. The fact the German had a stomach bug the day before makes his stats that bit more impressive. He attempted more passes the Eriksen which could also indicate his lower average.
The German also looks more comfortable to take players on and dribble with the ball with Eriksen preferring to thread key passes all of the time. While that is still important, Özil offers that and more which slightly puts Özil ahead of the Spurs recruit. However, whether he is worth £30 million more remains to be seen.
One thing to take in note is the reaction to the signings. Spurs were happy with their signing of Eriksen but the mood was not even closely matched by the effect of Özil’s move to Arsenal, such is his talent and reputation. If managers had the choice over Özil and Eriksen then the German would win hands down, despite the obvious talent of the Danish international.
Özil single handedly lifted the mood at the Emirates, took pressure off of Wenger and sealed a crucial three points while Spurs were still talking about Gareth Bale.