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Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has rejected the possibility of leaving the club this summer.
Per Goal’s Charles Watts, Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants five new arrivals ahead of next season, but he will need to raise some of the funds for the overhaul through player sales.
Ozil does not plan to be one of those to leave, however, as he told DAZN DACH (h/t Watts): “I don’t think there’s a chance of that to be honest. I’ve got two more years here and what happens afterwards is not in my hands. We’ll see then, but I’m proud to be at this club and really happy at this club.”
The German has a contract until 2021 that he signed last year, said to be worth around £350,000 per week, making him the club’s top earner.
Despite that, Emery has been reluctant to use him at times this season. Between November 11 and February 24, Ozil made just four Premier League appearances. While that was in part due to back and knee issues, Emery also stated he left him out at times for “tactical reasons.”
The 30-year-old has since returned to being a regular in the team, which he also discussed with DAZN DACH:
“If the coach speaks to me and tells me I won’t play in a game it’s something I need to accept and just get on with it. I’ve carried on working on making myself as fit and healthy as I could and it’s worked out for me.
“Now I’m playing, but of course it’s the coach’s decision if I play or not. I’ve had some injuries this season and I’ve had to miss some games. But I know when I’m fit I’ll play matches.”
Ozil averaged 14 assists per season in all competitions during his first five campaigns with Arsenal, which offers some insight into why the club were prepared to offer him a bumper contract.
However, he has struggled to justify it this season, contributing just three assists in all competitions.
Even with his spells on the sidelines, it is remarkable that a player of his creativity has assisted so few goals, particularly given Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have 50 goals between them in all competitions. Nine other Arsenal players contributed more Premier League assists than Ozil, including three defenders.
Question marks over his performances in big games and away from home have also remained.
Football.London’s James Benge and sports journalist Uche Amako singled him out after he captained the side in their 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in May:
James Benge @jamesbenge
Arsenal are a team that absolutely embody their captain today. There have been some flashes of brilliance and elegant play but such mental fragility.
Uche Amako @UcheAmako
The ‘disappointment’ on the faces of the Arsenal players is not genuine. If they really cared, they wouldn’t have been so abysmal when it mattered. Mesut Ozil’s sad face has been seen far too often. And he’s among those most chiefly guilty of going AWOL #ARSBHA
He’s now a senior player at Arsenal, so it’s unlikely at this point he’ll put to bed the doubts his critics have about him.
Getting him off the books would probably be the best course of action for the Gunners, but after his disappointing season it will be difficult to find suitors willing and able to pay his wages, and it’s clear he has no desire to leave either.
If Ozil does stay put, Arsenal need him to rediscover his best form to justify their continued expenditure on him.
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