Arsenal may have to get rid of two of their stars if they want Mikel Arteta to succeed claims Gary Neville.
The Gunners named the Spaniard as their manager two matchdays ago and there have been improvements in the side, but Sky Sports pundit Neville reckons that Arteta can get more done if he gets rid of two players.
Neville believes that the noise surrounding Mesut Ozil is too much and it is causing a distraction at the Emirates.
He also believes that Arsenal should get rid of Granit Xhaka as the Swiss midfielder is unsettled.
According to the former Manchester United full-back, Arteta has to ask the club’s board to sell those two players.
He admitted that Arsenal may have to take a financial hit to get rid of those two stars, but their departure would be for the greater good of the side.
Speaking on Sky Sports News as reported in the Metro, Neville said: ‘They’re parked in 12th position in the league with a team that, to be fair, doesn’t look like it’s got the best spirit in the world. They look like they have a few players who are not quite sure if they want to be here.
‘There’s obviously speculation around Xhaka, who’s been the captain this season, Mesut Ozil is a continuous noise for managers, for the fans, for the media.
‘It’s constant noise around Ozil. Maybe it’s created by the media, but it’s constantly around the fans, it’s constantly around the manager here, he has to answer the questions about him all the time.
‘He’s become an enigma I think at this club, in the sense that he’s obviously a talented player – I don’t think anyone has ever questioned his talent – but when you’re trying to build a successful team, and he has played in successful teams, do you choose to build around him or do you choose to discard him?
‘Because there’s no in-between. He can’t be sat on the bench, because the constant noise that surrounds that is just too much for any manager – particularly a young manager. So I think he has to make a decision on him early.’
When asked if he thinks Arsenal would struggle to sell Ozil, he added:
‘I think that’s the problem. You either build around him or you ask the club to take one for you. I remember in my early days in Valencia, an experienced person that I rang said I had to get rid of two players and I had to ask the club to take a hit for me.
‘I wasn’t willing to do it. Mikel Arteta is going to have to do it at this club. He’s going to have to go to the ownership, the boardroom up there, and say: “I want these two players out of my club and you’re going to have to take a financial hit.”
‘And they’re going to have to back him. You’re going to have to do that with some players here, because they’re just not going to fit in to what he wants.’