Mesut Ozil is a “wasted talent” who has lost his psychological edge, according to former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit.
Ex-Germany international Ozil has not played a minute of football for the Gunners in 2019, making his last appearance in the 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day.
Unai Emery has repeatedly insisted he has confidence in the playmaker, despite leaving him out of some games for “tactical reasons”, and last week the Spaniard shrugged off speculation linking the 30-year-old – who is contracted until 2021 – with a move away from Emirates Stadium.
But Petit, who won the double of Premier League and FA Cup with Arsenal in 1997-98, was less forgiving in his assessment of a player who arrived from Real Madrid for a fee believed to be in excess of £40million in 2013.
“It is very frustrating. I cannot remember the last time he was an artist on the pitch; now when he asks questions we already know the answers,” Petit told The Daily Mail.
“He is a wasted talent, he has a terrible psychological problem.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 24, 2019
“In 2002, when the French team went out [of the World Cup] as champions, it was shameful, not just that we lost it but the way we lost it. It is the same with Germany in 2018. Ozil was seen as one of the most responsible for that because of his body language on the pitch.
“But it was already the case for Ozil for the last two years for Arsenal – one great game, four average. Mentally he is not there anymore.
“Physically he is in good shape, he has talent, we all know his quality, but if you cannot work your brain to be the beautiful player we know you can be, it’s over.
“If I was Ozil, when you have won so many things – the World Cup – it’s human that if you are not starting, you stop working, you do not have any targets any more. I can understand that, I was the same at the end of my career, but for me I had a lot of injuries that could have stopped me.
“He has the luxury to still be in shape, to be appreciated by his club, he signed a new contract, they gave him what he wanted. The least he could do is pay back that confidence.”
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