Any chance for Ozil's issue to be solved?
Perhaps, Mesut Ozil has been the most discussed player at Arsenal for several years. While some see him as Dennis Bergkamp 2.0, others criticise the German for inconsistency, laziness and questionable ability to get invisible on the pitch at certain times. FourFourTwo's Chas Newkey-Burden offers his view on the German's present and future.
Mesut Ozil has been really unhappy as a player this season. His £350,000-per-week wages didn't make him Unai Emery's first choice whatsoever. While some games he missed due to injuries and fitness issues, others, in Emery's own words, had Ozil sidelined for 'tactical reasons'.
Reports told about Ozil leaving the training ground after learning he wouldn't be included into the starting XI against the Hammers. Then the German was really angry at Emery when the boss subbed him at Crystal Palace.
Basically, it's Ozil sitting on the bench (or not going to the game at all) one day and Ozil wearing the armband the other day. So, what’s cracking?
"The seeds for all this were sown during the closing years of the Wenger era," writes Chas Newkey-Burden. "Ozil’s peak period for the Gunners came between 2013 and 2015. Then the mysterious absences began, particularly during the winter.
"He often looked more fed up than usual, visibly sulking when things didn’t go his way. He seemed to be losing his focus, and the feeling was that Wenger was being too indulgent.
"Then Ozil’s representatives played a blinder by hitting the club for lucrative new deal in the wake of Alexis Sanchez’s exit last January. With Arsenal terrified of losing both star players in one window, they capitulated to his agent’s demand for £350,000 a week.
"While Ozil’s mercurial style would appear to be at odds with Emery’s tactical vision, stark financial reality is also at play. The Premier League’s new cost control measures, which came into force in 2017, restrict how much a wage bill can increase year on year.
"Those rules, combined with Stan Kroenke’s tight hand on the tiller, means Emery simply cannot afford an expensive player who doesn’t fit 100 per cent into his plans, especially if he wants accomplished new faces."
So, as of now, Ozil has retired from international football and is a misfit in his club which, of course, can't make the 30-year-old happy.
Ozil's contract expires in 2021 and he is not likely to leave Arsenal, at least in January. The German is '100 per cent committed' to Arsenal as per his own agent. His commitment has impressed Emery, by the way. The Spaniard mentioned it several times, claiming he was amazed at Ozil's desire to fight for the place in the squad.
"Unless he cements his place in the Gunners line-up between now and then, what happens next might depend simply on Ozil finding a club willing to match or better his Emirates wages," claims Newkey-Burden. "He has reportedly turned down offers from Asia worth £1 million a week, but an offer from a cash-rich club in Turkey might tempt him. But what if no one will stump up the cash?
"Ozil personifies some of the failings of the club’s previous regime: the indulgence of comfort zones, contracts allowed to run down and fear-based financial decisions. His situation is Emery’s most difficult, delicate dilemma. If the Spaniard can bring the great Ozil debate to a conclusion, that would be a fine feat."