Mesut Ozil’s agent has revealed that the player’s popularity on social media played a fundamental role in sealing the German a bumper pay increase when he penned a contract extension at Arsenal.
After protracted negotiations, the midfielder committed his long-term future to the Gunners in February with a deal that is understood to pocket him around £350,000 per week; more than double his previous terms. While the figure may have blown a hole in the club’s wage structure, Dr. Erkut Sogut firmly believes his client’s commercial viability and global brand meant he earned the increase.
Reflecting on the way negotiations played out, Sogut told the Evening Standard: “We had some really big offers from Asia, there were some crazy offers. But for Mesut, money was by no means the biggest factor.
“Money is definitely one important thing to consider, but people must remember that footballing ability is just one aspect of a contract negotiation. The commercial impact of a footballer is crucial nowadays.
“Mesut has the biggest social media following of any player in the Premier League and I just read that his shirt numbers (sales) were the largest at the club.
“At the end of the day, this is all information that has to be taken into consideration. So, the commercial side is very big with a player like Mesut, who has played in different countries and was the No10 of the national team, where he won the World Cup.
He added: “His market is worldwide. The club makes money out of these players as well, but it came down to what was in his heart.
“We were free to sign with other clubs and in the end Mesut loves the club. I put everything to him and he just said, ‘This is my home, I want to be here’.”
Obviously, Ozil’s huge contract has put even greater pressure on him to deliver the goods consistently for Arsenal. While there’s no doubting his talent and match-winning ability, it’s fair to say the jury remains out on whether the terms of his huge deal are truly providing value for money for the club.