Ex-Arsenal player-turned-pundit Martin Keown has slammed Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil's attitude in an interview with talkSPORT. The former Gunner thinks the "best option for everyone" is for the German to leave Arsenal due to to the "unhealthy" enivironment he has created through his presence in the club.
Mesut Ozil has not featured for Arsenal since the resumption of football after the COVID-19 lockdown. Ozil has reportedly fallen out with manager Mikel Arteta, which has resulted in him being left out of Arsenal's 25-man Europa League squad this season.
Ozil has made 254 appearances for Arsenal since his move to the Emirates from Real Madrid in 2013. The German attacking midfielder has racked up 44 goals and provided 77 assists during his time with the North London club.
Arsenal are, however, desperate to get rid of the World Cup winner and reportedly transfer listed him this summer but were not able to find any suitors. Ozil has not featured for Arsenal this season but has still managed to make the headlines off the pitch after he refused to take a pay cut along with the rest of the squad during Arsenal's attempts to reduce their expenses in the pandemic-induced milieu.
Martin Keown criticizes Mesut Ozil's attitude as says Arsenal must get rid off him
Mesut Ozil is currently the highest paid player at Arsenal, earning £350,000 per week. Martin Keown thinks his continued presence in the Arsenal dressing room has created an "unhealthy" environment.
Keown was quoted saying," One assumed that Arteta would've given him an opportunity and he's not really happy with Mesut Ozil's work ethic. He's not someone the others can learn off."
Some of his quotes from the interview follow.
" I actually think he's got a good heart, because of what he does for charity, but when he questions giving up a percentage of his wage which affects everyone else, I don't think its his place to do that. He needs to fall in line."
" They need to cut their losses and pay him off. It sends a message to the group, creates a new culture, and allowed them to move on, because at the moment it's become unhealthy. "
"Nobody will be happy with this, nobody wants to see the back of Ozil. We want him to play football, but right now the best option for everyone is for him to leave and go quietly."
He can be fantastic somewhere else. He needs to look at himself right now and I don't think he is. It's that oxygen when you play, you can breathe when you play and he cant breathe at the moment. "
"Isn't there enough money in the bank now? It a short career and he'll look back thinking he was denied the opportunity to play, but he hasn't played his part to change that," said Keown.
Mesut Ozil was linked with a move to Turkey in the summer, but any deal for the 31-year-old away from Arsenal failed to materialise due to enormity of his wage demands. Mesut Ozil will have to either take a major wage cut to force a move to another club, or wait for his contract with Arsenal to expire in the summer of 2021.Published 10 Oct 2020, 20:26 IST