The signing of Mesut Ozil was supposed to take Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League along with making the club a force in Europe once again. Arsene Wenger’s men paid £42m for the German international to acquire his services from Real Madrid in 2013, but his time at the Emirates Stadium has been underwhelming to say the least.
Ozil struggled for consistency early in his Gunners career and was maligned for his inability to impact games. He started to get to grips with life in the Premier League in the 2014-15 campaign before displaying his best football late in 2015, leading the top flight in assists.
However, he has fallen back into his old ways this term, with a number of poor performances, especially in big contests against Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham. Ozil’s future at the club looks far from certain, with the 28-year-old in danger of becoming the latest German import to fail to produce his best football in England.
Germany’s dominance of world football has been well documented – with Die Mannschaft’s victory in the 2014 World Cup highlighting their prowess.
For all the individual quality their players possess, however, very few have managed to shine in the Premier League, with Ozil the glaring example, although others have come and gone without making an impression.
Jerome Boateng played sparingly for Manchester City for just one season before he was moved on by the club to Bayern Munich. The defender has shined for the Bavarian-based outfit along with Germany on the international stage, playing a crucial role in success for club and country.
The 28-year-old has been the lynchpin of his side’s defence and Carlo Ancelotti will call on his services to ensure that Bayern remain unbeaten for the rest of the term, with the team backed heavily in the Bundesliga betting odds at 1/14 to see off Darmstadt in their next outing.
However, he was far from reliable for City where he even played alongside Vincent Kompany when he was at the height of his powers. Boateng was unable to convince Robert Mancini that he was capable of playing for his side – one that would win the Premier League crown one season after his departure.
Superstar midfielder Michael Ballack had dominated the Bundesliga in his time with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern before he moved to Chelsea in 2006.
Ballack was supposed to help the Blues maintain their stranglehold of the Premier League, but he failed to settle into life in England. His first season was marred by inconsistent form along with the first straight red card of his career for stamping on the leg of Momo Sissoko against Liverpool.
The midfielder enjoyed a better second term, scoring seven goals in the top flight, although Chelsea were beaten to the English and European crowns by Manchester United.
His final campaign proved to be a successful one as he appeared to find a solid role under Ancelotti, but age caught up with him towards the end of the year even though Chelsea secured the title.
The failures of Germany’s brightest talent to adjust to life in England may put the likes of Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich off joining the Premier League.
However, the recent influx of Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan offers hope that England’s top flight may finally see Germany’s top talent operating at the peak of their powers.