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Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi has told Mesut Ozil he must “contribute 24/7” if he is to win back his place in the Gunners first team under manager Unai Emery.
Sanllehi told supporters at a fans’ forum (h/t Charles Watts at Goal) why Ozil is currently struggling for game time at the Emirates Stadium.
“Unai has had many good players in other teams also, and he has always followed the same policy which is try not to make any distinctions, play the ones who work hard in training and reward the effort with playing time.
“There is nothing against Mesut on the contrary and I hope we get to see him much more in the next games because his qualities are without question, but he needs to contribute 24/7 and that’s what Unai expects from him.
“It’s not that he’s not working so well, but there are others who are deserving more playing time, but Unai can’t treat him differently than any other player.”
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Ozil has only managed one Premier League appearance for Arsenal this season and has failed to even make the matchday squad for the Gunners’ last three fixtures.
The German is the club’s highest earner on wages of £350,000 a week but fears his Arsenal career is over, according to John Cross at the Mirror.
Emery explained why he was unable to find a place for Ozil to face Standard Liege in the UEFA Europa League:
Sky Sports Football @SkyFootball
“I think other players deserve it more.” 👊
Unai Emery says others deserved a place in Arsenal’s Europa League squad for the game against Standard Liege more than Mesut Ozil: https://t.co/a0NXOGdpFF https://t.co/jyHynGN8xQ
Arsenal are keen to send Ozil out on loan in January and are even willing to pay some of his enormous wages, according to Cross.
Ozil has frequently divided opinion since joining Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013. He is a wonderfully creative player who can conjure up assists and goals in a way few other players are able to. However, his work rate and application have frequently come under scrutiny and have seen him fall out of favour.
Journalist Layth Yousif has said Emery simply does not trust Ozil:
Clever strategy by Unai Emery to make Mesut Ozil captain today in a low key game which will allow him to be seen to support a player he doesn’t fully trust in terms of work-rate. Let’s see if Ozil remains Arsenal captain a week today at Anfield against Liverpool
Sanllehi’s comments suggest Ozil does still have a future at Arsenal, but it remains to be seen if he can convince Emery of his quality and force his way back into the starting XI on a regular basis.
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