Mesut Ozil should leave Arsenal for a club that actually wants him and he will regret his decision to see out his contract at the Emirates, reckons Alan Smith.
Ozil has been completely out of contention since the Premier League’s return form the coronavirus hiatus, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta leaving him out of the team and entire squad.
The former Real Madrid man still has a year to run on his £350,000-a-week contract in north London and the club would like to get rid of him and take him off the wage bill.
However, the 31-year-old has insisted he will stay till the end of his contract next summer, whether he is in the team or not, although he hopes to return to the fold and make an impact.
‘My position is clear,’ Ozil told The Athletic. ‘I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club.
‘Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger. I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again.
‘I’ll decide when I go, not other people. I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone.’
However, Smith thinks this decision is simply a waste of everyone’s time and it would be best for player and club if Ozil found somewhere else to ply his trade.
‘As for Mesut Ozil, the tiresome saga rolls on,’ the former Gunners striker told Sky Sports. ‘In an interview this week, the German insisted he is staying at Arsenal, even though he obviously does not feature in Arteta’s plans. This is a funny one.
Ozil is well within his rights to see out a four-year contract the club were happy enough to give. But from a purely football aspect, why would you do that if you are not going to play? ‘
”This is my profession”, he says. “It’s what I love doing: being on the pitch, playing matches, showing the people, helping the club and my team.” Ok, so if you love playing so much, why not go somewhere you’re actually wanted?
‘There’s an old saying in football – you are a long time retired. Come the end of his career, he might live to regret these wasted years.’ Ozil will fall still further down the pecking order at Arsenal when Willian completes his move from Chelsea, which is expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
The Gunners are thought to have offered him a substantial pay-off to leave the club before the end of his deal. He is due to earn £18m over the next year and the pay-off would be less than that but come in a lump sum.