“He won’t be a core figure in his plans” pundit hails Arteta’s handling of Mesut Ozil
Mikel Arteta has recently axed Mesut Ozil from his team as the Spaniard became tired of the German’s lack of application in games.
Since the restart, Ozil hasn’t made it to the pitch for Arsenal and it seems that Mikel Arteta is finally planning for life without the German in his side.
Ozil remains Arsenal’s highest earner, and the German is one player that the club would love to take off their wage bill.
However, his mammoth salary means that Arsenal will struggle to see teams that would take him on unless they would be prepared to pay some of his wages, a significant portion.
Speaking on the player’s absence from Arteta’s side, former Arsenal striker, Alan Smith claimed that Arteta is showing his strong side as a manager and insisted that it is what Arsenal needs at the moment.
He told Sky Sports: “It seems that Arteta wants to draw a line under it, and convince the players he’s not part of the plans, and he’s passed the buck to Ozil and said: ‘What do you want to do about it?’ Hopefully leave the club would be Arteta’s reasoning. That would free up a bit of money in terms of his wages.
“It’s always going to be a talking point for as long as Ozil’s at the club. I don’t know whether anything could happen in this transfer window, there aren’t too many links with any clubs. We might end up having this situation for another year until his contract runs out. He might get used now and again, but he won’t be a core figure in his plans.
“It’s something Arteta could have done without. He’s got enough on his plate, without constant questions about the German’s future. But Arteta is decisive; if he decides somebody doesn’t fit in going forward, no matter how much they’re earning, he’s not going to pick them. That’s strong management, and I think Arsenal need that.
“Can he fit in at Arsenal? No, I don’t think so. This is an era at the club where everybody has to really dig in and work incredibly hard off the ball. Ozil is too long in the tooth to change his game now, and I don’t think physically he is capable of doing what Arteta wants him to do, either.
“It might be another year before he leaves the club, but I can’t see much of a future there for him.”
It remains unclear if Arteta would welcome the German back into his team for the game against Norwich City tomorrow evening.
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