Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Martin Keown believes Mesut Ozil has already left the Gunners in his mind, and he is no longer regarded as a vital component of Arsene Wenger’s side.
The Germany international has managed just four Premier League starts in the 2017/18 season, and with just nine months remaining on his contract, he looks set to leave the north London giants.
Ozil has been recently linked with a move to arch-rivals Manchester United, and with the 28-year-old’s contract expiring next summer, there is little Wenger could do to block the move. As a result, Keown suspects the Frenchman will seek to offload the World Cup winner in January with the midfielder’s attitude being a concern this term.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I think he’s testing Wenger more than any other player has. I think it was Belarus the other week, he didn’t fancy going. He didn’t want to go. Suddenly he was injured again, he played nine minutes against West Bromwich Albion on the Monday, so how did he get injured there?
I think in some departments he’s already left. Psychologically, mentally, he’s already left the football club. Maybe Wenger is now trying to do the best deal he can to get some compensation for him. I think he doesn’t want that sort of player around the youngsters in the group.”
Ozil has been struggling with a minor knee injury over the past week or so, but Keown clearly believes that the German has downed his tools at the Emirates. Unlike, Alexis Sanchez, who has performed at a fairly high level in recent weeks, Ozil has looked far off from the pace with his showing for club and country, showcasing different styles of his play. The attacker contributed two assists and a goal for Joachim Loew’s side during the previous set of World Cup qualifiers, but he has since lacked a similar intensity playing for the FA Cup holders.