Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says he believes midfielder Mesut Ozil will defy his critics in the English media this season, and perform to his highest level.
The German playmaker’s languid style, and his failure to perform on some big occasions, have often been criticised in the UK, but speaking to German TV station Sport1 about why his team mate is so often on the end of criticism, Mertesacker responded:
“It is not easy as they are critical in the English media when it does not happen [on the pitch] – but it does not make any difference and he is one of our most important players. He also plays sensationally in the national team. He will soon show us why he is such a good player.”
SportBild reported yesterday that talks between Ozil and Arsenal over a new contract ended back in February. Uncertainty over manager Arsene Wenger’s future played a large part in negotiations stalling, with the Frenchman being courted by Paris Saint-Germain at the time, but talks have not reopened since then.
Reports of the midfielder being offered a €280,000 a week contract in recent months is untrue, according to the German publication, and it seems very likely now that the player will leave on a free transfer next summer.