Martin Keown has urged Arsenal Football Club to offload Mesut Ozil this summer, despite the likelihood that his exit will come at a cost.
The former defender has grown frustrated with the club’s highest earner, who is not only cashing in the biggest cheque at the Emirates, but isn’t doing enough on the training field to convince the manager that he is deserving of most match-day squads at present.
The German is claimed to have a slight back injury, but stepped foot onto the pitch since the restart, and the manager has recently hinted that if players wish to play, they must show that dedication on the training ground.
Keown has now claimed that he can see the club paying him off this summer to part ways, with a view to protecting the younger players.
Keown said on Stadium Astro:‘No I don’t think he does.
‘And I think really this summer now they may see the player being paid off, because I think now it’s about protecting the next generation.
‘I think it’s a real shame, because he had a magnificent talent, but if you’re not prepared to work hard out of possession for the team, then you don’t get to play in the new Arsenal at the moment and that’s what Arteta is all about.
‘Work ethic comes first and then everything else is a bonus you play from there.
‘Clearly he’s not seeing enough on the training pitch.
Keown goes onto claim that Ozil may not even realise that he has allowed himself to lose sight of things, and that he may have allowed himself to get too comfortable due to his contract, and he doesn’t want the up-and-coming stars to buy into such a philosophy.
He added: ‘People go into comfort zones whether they like it or not, they can’t often see it. But, you know, that must have played a part. He’s a millionaire every month, after tax.
‘My attitude to that is every player should get the best contract they can, and if he’s performing he deserves that, but when he doesn’t, it’s very expensive for Arsenal football club.
‘It maybe sends the complete wrong message to some of those youngsters, he’s had opportunities he hasn’t taken.’
Could Arsenal part ways with Ozil this summer? Would the only way to relinquish ourselves of the midfielder, be by buying him out of his contract?