Paul Merson has labelled Arsenal’s missing man Mesut Ozil “one of the worst players in the world” without the ball.
The German is yet to be seen on the field since Project Restart and former Gunner Merson did not mince his words when dishing out his opinion on the 31-year-old.
The 52-year-old TV pundit believes Ozil is no longer a good fit for the club and does not work hard enough in defence to justify a place in the side.
Merson told Sky Sports: “I think Ozil is a prime example of a player who has to play in a proper team, that is going to be right up there, dominating football matches. He’s got to play in a majorly successful team.
“He can’t play in this Arsenal team, here’s why: he’s not going to change his game now in his 30s, and Arsenal aren’t going to change their game for him.
“He isn’t tracking back, chasing players, and you need him in a team where you’re getting 70 per cent of the ball each week, and he’ll play.
“You get players around him, let him play. We all know how Ozil plays, you give him the ball and he’ll find you. If you don’t have the ball, he won’t win it back for you for love nor money.”
Arsenal are coughing up £350,000 a week on wages for Ozil, something that clearly irks Merson.
He added: “He’s not interested when they don’t have the ball. How can you give someone £350k-a-week when we all knew that was his style of play?
“I’ve never seen somebody so disinterested when they don’t have the ball, but he hurts you at the other end!
“Can Arsenal form a team around him? At the moment, it’s at the stage where you can’t do that. They’re not going to change the team for him. He’ll pick up his £350,000-a-week and everything is rosy for him.”
Merson accepts Ozil is unlikely to want to sacrifice some of his mega wages to seek a move elsewhere.
He explained: “They have to come to a deal with him; maybe he’ll take £200k a week somewhere else. I don’t know how this gets resolved though.
“Does he want to play football? If he loves football, he has to come to a deal with Arsenal, but it’s easy to say that.
“Nobody wants to lose £150k a week, no matter how much you earn! Who is mad enough to throw that money away, no matter who you are?”
Former Real Madrid star Ozil sparked a public backlash during lockdown when he refused to accept a pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He has been mocked by fans for hiding under an umbrella and pocketing £1million for doing NOTHING since football returned.
The midfield maestro was officially left out against Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals because of a back complaint but fans were more sceptical of the real reasons behind the expensive ace’s continued absence.