Ex-Arsenal player Paul Merson doesn’t believe Mesut Ozil suits Unai Emery’s brand of football.
The former midfielder believes that the German has to play if he remains at the club because of his wages, but if the Spaniard can’t fit him into his game plan, it may be best to sell the playmaker. He told talkSPORT:
“I’m a big fan of Mesut Ozil, but he splits opinion. I think he’s a top player, but I don’t think he’ll be able to play in this team of squeezing, it’s just not his game.”
“For me, you always play your best players, so he should be playing in that team. At £350k-a-week, you’ve got to make a space for him, Arsenal can’t afford to be giving him that sort of money and not play him. But if not, you’ve got to get rid of him.”
Ozil’s record since he joined Arsenal five years ago looks very impressive on paper. In 199 appearances for the club, the 29-year-old has scored 37 goals and provided 71 assists for his teammates.
However, his poor work rate and his inability to make an impact in big games has made him a divisive figure, both among pundits and fans.
Despite reports of a bust-up between Emery and Ozil, the midfielder was put straight back into the starting line up against Cardiff last weekend. He missed the 3-1 win over West Ham due to an illness, with rumours circulating about his future under the manager. Yet, it seems that for the moment at least, the German is very much part of Spanish coach’s plans.