Rio Ferdinand advises Mikel Arteta on what he should do if he cannot sign Barcelona forward

Rio Ferdinand has challenge Mikel Arteta to make Mesut Ozil go back to his best days as a footballer with Real Madrid if they cannot sign Philippe Coutinho.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the former Liverpool attacking midfielder, but there is competition for his signature and the Gunners may struggle to sign him if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.

Rio Ferdinand, however, thinks that it won’t be so bad if they fail to land Coutinho as they already have Mesut Ozil who just needs to work better.

He claimed that Arteta will have to insist that Ozil starts playing like he did at Real Madrid.

The former Manchester United defender used a story of a time that he played against Real Madrid for United and claimed that Ozil worked so hard in that game and gave Rafael who played at right-back the runaround.

“Arsenal, [Coutinho] obviously would definitely improve them, but where does he play in their system?” Ferdinand said as quoted by the Express.

“They’ve got Ozil, is he someone that they’d like to see replace Ozil? I don’t know.

“I like Ozil, if he’s played the right way in the right team, manager getting the most out of him.

“I just think back to when I played against Ozil when he was at Real Madrid in the Champions League and he played against a young Rafael right-back, Brazilian boy, who was tenacious, strong, aggressive, fast.

“Rafa won’t thank me for this but [Ozil] played that game and a couple of times he ran Rafa and I thought ‘I didn’t realise Ozil was that fast’.

“He worked back, he chased Rafa back, Rafa was running across the halfway line with the ball, he chased him back, he worked.

“When he got it he was elusive, his balance, his passing, playing it and running aggressively without the ball.

“I haven’t seen him play like that really for Arsenal. He plays different, he plays more calm and chilled and at a slower pace.

“But I know there’s something in there, I saw it, I witnessed it, I played against it, where he can up the tempo and he has got an engine.

“But it’s Mikel Arteta as the manager who’s got to demand it out of him.

“I remember Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo was not happy that he was leaving, I remember.

“Because of the assists he was providing, the opportunities and chances and goals for Cristiano and I remember he wasn’t happy.”


  1. Ozil has passed his prime! He cannot replicate that form even if he goes back to Real Madrid or if he gets another increase in salary, Ozil is the highest paid player at Arsenal at £300,000 a week I feel Arsene Wenger was desperate not to lose him and weaken the team in the same season when Sanchez moved to Man United,that was why they offered him an increase in salary, he’s not worthy of that amount of money, he’s not getting younger too,Arsenal should sell him and bring in one or 2 of the younger better players they’re been transfer linked with and get the best out of them,he should be sold together with Mikhitarian, Elneny, Mustafi, Luiz and Kolasinac.
    We’ve conceeded 36 goals in the middle of the season,the worst ever,let’s recruit fresh blood,these guys can’t improve Arsenal,our fans aren’t happy they’re 9th on the table for the first time in over 20 years and don’t look like they have the players to displace the teams on top of them, Arsenal should either butckle up or stay grounded!

  2. nobody doubts ozil’s quality, but what is d use of having d quality if it doesn’t produce anything 4 us. saka is playing a make shift role yet we’ve gotten more 4rm him than our quality filled ozil. ozil is playing bcus we dont have another AMF simple

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