Arsenal lack a credible replacement for Mesut Ozil reckons Adrian Clarke
Former Arsenal academy graduate Adrian Clarke is of the opinion that Mesut Ozil has to continue in the first eleven simply because there is no adequate replacement within the current squad.
Ozil has been one of Arsenal’s most important players since he joined the north London side from Real Madrid.
However, after signing his latest contract, the German has been underwhelming in his performances for the Gunners.
His £350k per week wage is also causing problems for Arsenal as they try to renew the contract of their other players.
He is expected to leave Arsenal within the next 18 months or so as he isn’t in the club’s long term plans, and fans have been wondering who would take over his creative position.
The Gunners have targeted a number of other creative players as his replacement, but until they bring someone new onboard Clarke believes they need to persevere with Ozil for now.
Speaking on The Chronicles of a Gooner podcast as cited by the Express, he asked: “Who would you rather have in the team over Ozil playing that creative role?
“People might say push [Dani] Ceballos forward, I think the jury’s out whether he would be as good, certainly not better, as Ozil in there.
“Would you want a front two which would take Ozil out of the equation? All the evidence we’ve seen so far is that Arteta doesn’t so I think we have to put that one to bed.
“Could Martinelli play there as a sort of youthful energetic No 10 that goes here, there and everywhere? Maybe but has he got that tactical awareness yet that Mesut has? No.
“Could Pepe play there? Possibly, that might be a role for him in the long term but again, has he got that in-game intelligence?
“You have to be smart and clever with your movements to play in that No 10 role.
“Ozil will only function at his best in a team that plays fast football, that moves the ball between the lines quickly before opposition teams are set.
“We’ve seen it a few times of late where it’s been brilliant and if Arsenal can get to that level again I think we will see him have more positives games than negative.
“For now, I think he’s in the first eleven.”