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How does Dimitri Payet compare to Mesut Özil since moving to England?

It has been one of the hotly debated topics on social media over the last year, especially between fans of both clubs and I’m going to compare the two over this article. Dimitri Payet came to West Ham with relatively little fanfare last summer, despite dominating Ligue 1 during his final season with Marseille. He may have only reached elite status late into his career, but he is now seen as one of the best players in the Premier League.

Arsenal fans laugh off claims that the Frenchman is better than Mesut Özil, but a comparison is valid as they play in similar positions. That said, their styles differ as Payet is much more dynamic and looks to beat players, while Özil prefers to exploit pockets of space and dictate the tempo. Moreover, Payet has more pressure on him to perform as he is playing in a weaker team and the key part of their attacking line-up, as opposed to the German, who is surrounded by talented players.

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Since joining West Ham, Payet has been extremely consistent and created plenty of chances for his team-mates. In the Premier League, he has created 135 chances, which works out as one every 21.9 minutes. This is incredible and demonstrates how Payet never drifts out of a game. The Frenchman is always a threat and West Ham are lucky to have a player like him in their team.

Over the same period, Özil has created 157 chances, but has played over 500 more minutes in the Premier League. This means that he creates a chance every 22.2 minutes, fractionally worse than West Ham’s leading man. The German is known for his creativity and it will surprise many that Payet has been creating chances more frequently since he moved to London.

Looking closer at creativity, Payet has 15 assists in the Premier League, while Özil has 19 since the beginning of last term. Even when comparing assists per minute, the German comes out on top and that can be attributed to one of two reasons. Either Özil creates clearer-cut chances or he creates equally similar chances, but is playing alongside better players who are capable of scoring them. The former is more likely, as the 27-year-old plays in a team that dominates matches and there is more opportunity for him to create very good chances.

In terms of goal threat, Payet is more dangerous and often creates moments of magic on his own. He rarely scores from an effort that isn’t spectacular and that was the case this weekend against Middlesbrough, as he beat several defenders before coolly slotting past Victor Valdes. The Hammers star has ten goals since the start of last season, while Özil sits slightly behind on eight. The German has had more game time as well, which shows the increased goal-scoring ability of Payet compared to Özil.

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The final stat I want to compare today is goal involvement per minute. Dimitri Payet has been involved in a goal every 118.16 minutes since the beginning of last season. This is better than his Arsenal rival, who has been involved in a goal every 129 minutes. This is somewhat surprising, but could be explained by Payet having a more important role in his side’s attack. West Ham can be reliant on the Frenchman at times, while Arsenal also have Alexis Sanchez who is as important to the side as Özil, thereby sharing the burden of responsibility.

They are both fine players and two of the best players in the top flight. The main difference being that Dimitri Payet is more of an individual and capable of making things happen alone, while Özil can be dependent on his team-mates. The German has incredible vision and plays passes that few are able to, but for them to come off, he needs team-mates with similar intelligence. In short, Payet is a better option for sides below the top four as he can carry a team. However, Özil is a better player for an elite club as he fits into a team well and isn’t selfish, which allows others in the side to shine.

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