Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has delivered his verdict on Mikel Arteta’s treatment of Mesut Ozil in an interview with BBC Sport.
The German was a key figure under Arteta before the lockdown, but things suddenly changed. Ozil hasn’t played a single minute of football since Project Restart. The former Real Madrid man seems to have played his last game for Arsenal already, which really is a shame.
Wenger was asked about the situation around Ozil, and the legendary Frenchman feels that it is a waste for both the player and the club. Our former boss has also urged Arteta to ‘find a way’ to reintegrate him back into the side, but that looks very unlikely now.
He said: “I feel it is a waste for him. Firstly because he’s in the years where a player of his talent can produce the most. And it’s a waste for the club as well because he’s a super talent, a creative talent that in the final third can create that killer pass.”
“The way football is going at the moment it’s quick counter-pressing, quick transitions and everybody plays the same. It’s kicked out players like Ozil. Although let’s not forget who this guy is. A world champion who has played at Real Madrid. He’s been the record player of assists, so you have to find a way to get him involved again.”
Ozil has divided opinion since the day he stepped foot at Arsenal, but the one thing nobody can deny is his quality on the ball. The German is one of the greatest playmakers of this generation, and if Arteta wants to play a 4-2-3-1 again, there is no better number 10 at the Emirates than him.
However, the chances of Ozil playing for us again is extremely slim. Arteta has stuck with the 3-4-3; a formation that has proved to be extremely successful. Thomas Partey fits in that system, and even if the Arsenal boss decides to revert to a back four, it will likely be a 4-3-3.
That system eliminates the need for a player like Ozil. A midfield trio of Granit Xhaka, Partey and Dani Ceballos is the most balanced on paper, and all three of them are better defensively than the German, which makes it an easy decision for Arteta.
As unfair as it arguably is, Ozil leaving the club might just be the best move for all parties. If Wenger was still at the helm, the German wouldn’t have received this treatment. But, the new regime is ruthless, and our number 10 might just have to settle for an exit without a farewell that he probably deserves.