Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson has voiced his doubt over the freezing out of Mesut Ozil, claiming the midfielder would’ve thrived with Thomas Partey in the side.
Merson believes the former Manchester City coach missed a trick in leaving out the playmaker, whilst comparing Partey’s impact to that of N’golo Kante’s for Chelsea.
He said: “I think there was a stage for Ozil now Partey’s in the team.”
“I watched Chelsea play against Burnley, they played a back four, they played N’Golo Kante in front of the back four, and let everyone else get on with it.”
“Then if they do drop someone in to pick up Ozil, you’ve got someone like Partey who’s very comfortable on the ball and can hurt you. Then that frees a midfield player up. I think there’s a trick being missed here, but that’s just me.” (via Sky Sports)
You can’t help but agree with the former England international, especially as the Gunners have struggled to create many chances this season.
In the last three league games, Arteta’s side have failed to score from open play, showing their weakness in creating many chances.
This is an area Ozil has thrived in since he arrived at the club back in 2014, averaging more than two key passes per Premier League game in five of his six seasons since joining in 2014 (via WhoScored)
Partey himself has shown he has the qualities to clean up in front of the defence having dominated a few of the defensive stats during the victory over Manchester United last weekend (via Squawka).
The figures certainly suggest that the Sky Sports pundit is right in his analysis that Ozil would’ve thrived in front of the Ghanaian. It makes the decision to leave him out of the two squads all the more baffling as the Gunners go chasing a Champions League place.
Arsenal fans, do you think Merson is right about Ozil? Let us know your thoughts!