Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown has urged Gunners boss Mikel Arteta to cash in on Mesut Ozil. The former Germany international has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates ever since Arteta’s appointment as Unai Emery’s successor last December.
Despite being fully fit, Ozil, 31, has yet to feature for the current FA Cup holders this season.
The writing on the wall was boldened earlier this week when Arteta left the creative midfielder out of Arsenal’s 25-man squad for their Europa League campaign.
Should Arsenal fail to find a buyer for the former Real Madrid man in January, they could be forced to continue paying his whopping £350,000-a-week wages until the end of the season.
And Keown, who believes the German doesn’t necessarily have the most positive influence at the club, reckons his old side need to “cut their losses” and get him off the wage bill as soon as possible.
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They need to cut their losses and pay him off
Martin Keown on Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal future
“One assumes that Arteta would’ve given him an opportunity and he’s not really happy with Ozil’s work ethic,” Keown said during an appearance on talkSPORT.
“He’s not someone the others can learn off. I actually think he’s got a good heart, because of what he does for charity, but when he questions giving up a percentage of his wage which affects everyone else, I don’t think it’s his place to do that. He needs to fall in line.
“If you think of the money it’s costing Arsenal… £18million-a-year, that the equivalent of the interest payments when they took out a loan on the Emirates Stadium.
“That’s how restrictive that has been. They need to cut their losses and pay him off.
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“It sends a message to the group, creates a new culture, and allows them to move on, because at the moment it’s become unhealthy.”
Keown would like to see Ozil to come to a mutual arrangement with the Arsenal brass, adding: “Nobody will be happy with this, nobody wants to see the back of Ozil.
“We want him to play football, but right now the best option for everyone is for him to leave and go quietly.
“He can be fantastic somewhere else. He needs to look at himself right now and I don’t think he is.
“It’s that oxygen when you play, you can breathe when you play and he can’t breathe at the moment.
“Isn’t there enough money in the bank now? I
“t’s a short career and he’ll look back thinking he was denied the opportunity to play, but he hasn’t played his part to change that.”
Arsenal will be back in action a week on Saturday, travelling to the Etihad Stadium to take on fellow Premier League title hopefuls Manchester City.
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