Mesut Ozil has questioned Arsenal’s transfer policy and suggests there are two players they made big mistakes in allowing to leave.
Ozil, 32, has not kicked a ball for the club since the 1-0 win over West Ham in March, just before the Premier League locked down due to Covid-19.
His absence coincided with his refusal to take a pay cut on his £350,000-a-week salary, which he believed was unfair. The majority of Arsenal’s players and staff agreed to lower their pay in April as part of coronavirus cost-cutting measures.
The club cut salaries by 12.5 per cent, reduced to 7.5 per cent when Arsenal won the FA Cup. What’s more, club executives agreed to cut a third of their pay packets.
However, the Gunners’ top earner Ozil did not take part.
Mikel Arteta did not play Ozil after that and left him out of the squad lists for the Premier League and Europa League this season, meaning he cannot play in either competition.
He is widely expected to leave in January or the summer as a result. Ozil has become little more than someone who merely provides a decent mouthpiece for interesting observations these days.
As such, Ozil has said one or two interesting things in a fans’ Q&A. And the German has named the two players Arsenal have made a big mistake in allowing to leave in recent times.
Indeed, Ozil reckons the exits of both Matteo Guendouzi this summer and Aaron Ramsey the year before have been costly.
Guendouzi departed for Hertha Berlin after falling out with Arteta. And like Ramsey – who joined Juventus on a free – he’s been tipped for a big future in the game by Ozil.
“I’m sure he will be a big football player one day,” Ozil predicted.
Asked for his thoughts on Ramsey, he replied: “Amazing player, good friend. He’s been a fantastic teammate.”
Ozil admits he misses Wenger
Ozil then took what appears a thinly-veiled dig at Arteta by admitting he misses the days of Arsene Wenger being in charge.
Arteta took over from the sacked Unai Emery last December, with the latter handed the reins in place of Wenger back in 2018.
“He was really a fantastic manager – yeah. He was like a father figure for me and many other players,” he said of Wenger. “I think many people around Arsenal are really missing him.”
Asked if he is currently happy at the club, Ozil was making his frustrations plainly obvious.
“It’s a very difficult time for everyone around the club – not just for me,” he answered,
“The situation is frustrating for everyone. Of course I would wish I could help the team especially right now. But as long as I don’t get the chance I just hope that we get better results very soon again. But let’s stay positive.”