Paul Merson has claimed that Mesut Ozil will struggle to hold down a regular starting role in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side this season.
The German international is currently struggling with a knee problem, but the Gunners have found top form in his absence, and have picked up six wins and a draw from the seven outings since he fell foul of injury.
When asked if Ozil would struggle to hold down a first-team role this season, Merson replied: “Yeah, I do.
“You look at any world class player in the world we’ve seen over the last 15 or 20 years – you know one thing they do? They work hard.
“They’ve got the class, they’ve got the skill, they’ve got everything, but they work hard at the same time – that’s what makes them world class.
“Ozil doesn’t do that part of the game, and if you don’t do that you can’t play in this day and age.
“I’ve seen Zinedine Zidane and he worked hard. I played against David Beckham enough times at Man United and you couldn’t believe how hard he worked up and down the right wing – it was scary.
“These players worked hard for the team.
“The penny has got to drop with Ozil, you can’t just play when you’re on the ball.
“And to be fair to Arsene, he’s taken him out of the team and they’ve reaped the rewards in the end.”
Players like Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi have been putting in solid shifts in attack, while Jack Wilshere is also impressing while he makes the most of his chances while he bids to return to full strength.
Mesut Ozil may well struggle to feature as heavily as he has done in previous terms, but if Arsene Wenger holds any hope of signing him down to a new contract, the likelihood is that he will play regularly by default.
Has Wenger given up on new contract for the German? Does he have to start because of his status? Does he deserve to start?