Arsene Wenger has criticised Arsenal’s treatment of Mesut Ozil and says his old club are ‘wasting’ the playmaker’s talent, while he has encouraged Mikel Arteta to end his exile.
Although a regular in the side when the Spanish coach first took over at the Emirates, Ozil did not play a single minute of action after the season restart and has been left out of every matchday squad for the new season.
To compound his misery, the German World Cup winner has been axed from Arsenal’s Europa League squad list entirely – making him ineligible to play – and looks set to be handed the same fate in the Premier league.
Despite appearing to have played his last game for Arsenal, top earner Ozil intends to see out the last year of his mammoth contract and has rejected offers to leave north London.
Wenger, who signed Ozil from Real Madrid seven years ago, believes the situation does not paint anyone in a good light, though feels the 31-year-old still has enough quality to be involved in the Arsenal squad.
Asked what he makes of Ozil’s current predicament, Wenger told BBC Sport: ‘I feel it is a waste for him.
‘Firstly because he’s in the years where a player of his talent can produce the most.
‘And it’s a waste for the club as well because he’s a super talent, a creative talent that in the final third can create that killer pass.
‘It’s a waste on both sides. Creatvity is as well what people want when they go to the game. When they buy a ticket, they want to see something special, something creative, something they cannot do.
‘The way football is going at the moment it’s quick counter-pressing, quick transitions and everybody plays the same. It’s kicked out players like Ozil.
‘Although let’s not forget who this guy is. A world champion who has played at Real Madrid.
‘He’s been the record player of assists in the league, so they have to find a way to get him involved again.’
Ozil actually created the most chances of any Arsenal player under Arteta last season, despite not playing since March, though the side have performed well in his absence this season and currently sit in fourth place with three wins from their opening four games.
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