Sunday, 17 February 2019

Paul Merson: Mesut Ozil should retire if he can’t get Arsenal spot

The Arsenal legend jokes that Mesut Ozil should consider retirement if he can't break into the Gunners team

Mesut Ozil (Photo: Puma)

Paul Merson has jokingly suggested that Mesut Ozil should consider retirement if the German playmaker can’t get into Arsenal’s team.

The World Cup winner has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot in the Arsenal team since Unai Emery’s appointment last summer.

Arsenal made the 30-year-old the best paid player in the north London side’s history when Ozil signed a new long-term deal in February 2018.

However, the former Real Madrid midfielder has only made 14 appearances in the Premier League this season to raise serious questions about his future.

Ozil missed the 100th game of his Arsenal career on Thursday night as Emery’s side suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 clash.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson admitted that he is staggered at Ozil’s inability to hold down a regular place in Emery’s starting XI.

“You play your best players and work around them,” Merson told Sky Sports News. “Ozil is Arsenal’s best player and he doesn’t play, it beats me.

“He must sit at home and watch Arsenal and think ‘how am I not getting into this team?’

“I don’t know if they are trying to push him into retirement, because he must sit there and think he might as well retire if he can’t get into Arsenal’s team.”

Arsenal signed Ozil in a £42.5m deal from La Liga giants Real Madrid in the 2013 summer transfer window in what was a club record fee at the time.

The former Schalke 04 midfielder has only managed to fire Arsenal to three FA Cup titles during his five and a half seasons at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04.

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