Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes manager Mikel Arteta may be missing a trick by not making use of Mesut Ozil, now that he has Thomas Partey in his midfield. Partey has been the standout player for Arsenal since he joined the club from Atletico Madrid, whilst Ozil has been frozen out of the squad by Arteta.
Partey has impressed one and all since joining Arsenal for £45 million on transfer deadline day. The Ghanaian has added a much-needed physical presence, defensive discipline and composure to the Arsenal midfield.
Arsenal have not had such a player in the ranks since the days of Patrick Vieira, and Merson feels that his presence could pave the way for Mesut Ozil to return to the squad.
Mesut Ozil has been totally frozen out of by Arteta this season, being left out of 25-man squad for the Premier League and the Europa League.
On his day, Mesut Ozil is one of the best creative midfielders in the world. He could still add quality to any team he plays for, but has been criticised for his lack of work rate and defensive abilities.
Merson on how Arsenal can make use of Mesut Ozil
Merson gave his views on the matter, with the pundit telling Sky Sports that Partey could allow Mesut Ozil to flourish in the team more now.
"I think there was a stage for Mesut Ozil now Partey's in the team. I watched Chelsea play against Burnley, they black a back four, and let everyone else get on with it. They ripped Burnley to shreds, I haven't seen too many teams make Burnley look bang average. Because Kante was playing in that holding role, it gave Kai Hvaertz and Mason Mount the freedom to do what they want, they didn't have to spend most of their time on the edge of their own box tracking back."
"With Partey in there now who's so dominant in there and doesn't lose the ball, I think there was a place for Ozil now. I think there was. Then if they 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."
Arsenal put in an impressive performance to beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday, their first victory against a 'top six' team since 2015.
Mikel Arteta seems to be getting his tactics right at Arsenal, but might want to look into recalling Mesut Ozil to the squad, given the wages the German is on and the quality he could bring.Published 05 Nov 2020, 16:13 IST