Arsene Wenger imploring Mikel Arteta to play Mesut Ozil so as to not waste his talent suggests he fears the Spaniard will make the same mistake he made.
Wenger signed Ozil from Real Madrid for a then club record £42million in 2013.
The Frenchman was under pressure to make the transfer a success, but Wenger didn’t always get the best out of Ozil.
Ozil would sometimes complain of illness or back pain, in the same way he did under both Unai Emery and now Arteta. This resulted in him missing a host of Arsenal matches, and saw him criticised by fans and pundits.
In 2019 The Times reported that Wenger – with the benefit of hindsight – wished he’d been harder on the German, and blamed himself for Ozil’s waning levels of motivation.
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Wenger’s recent comments on the BBC suggest he doesn’t want Arteta to make the same mistake he did and simply banish Ozil from his squad.
Instead, he believes the Spaniard should take the hard line he never did and look to incorporate Ozil because it’s a waste for all parties involved otherwise.
“I feel it is a waste for him,” Wenger explained.
“Firstly because he’s in the years where a player of his talent can produce the most. And it’s a waste for the club as well because he’s a super talent, a creative talent that in the final third can create that killer pass.
“The way football is going at the moment it’s quick counter-pressing, quick transitions and everybody plays the same.
“It’s kicked out players like Ozil. Although let’s not forget who this guy is.
“A world champion who has played at Real Madrid. He’s been the record player of assists, so you have to find a way to get him involved again.”
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