Mesut Ozil has offered “absolutely zero” to Arsenal since signing a lucrative new contract with the club, claims former Gunners star Paul Mariner.
That agreement was considered to be a triumph for those at Emirates Stadium, as another prized asset was prevented from heading for the exits.
Questions have, however, continued to be asked of Ozil’s contribution in the wake of that extension, with Unai Emery having taken to overlooking him on a regular basis since inheriting the reins.
Mariner believes that is because the 30-year-old is doing little to justify a regular role or his new deal, telling the ESPN FC podcast of some baffling business: “I’m dumbfounded why Arsenal would let [Alexis] Sanchez go. Sanchez, when I used to go to Arsenal to watch him play, he was phenomenal.
“It didn’t pan out so much for United but they let Sanchez go, they’re letting [Aaron] Ramsey go for nothing! What’s going on?
“And with Ozil, there’s something going on with Ozil that we don’t know about.
“Arsenal decided to put all their eggs in one basket with Ozil, right? But what’s Ozil done for the club? Absolutely zero! Zero.
“Yes, he’s a fantastic player, but he’s got to get fit. He’s never fit! There’s something going on with this kid that we don’t know about.”
Ozil was absent for Arsenal once again over the weekend as they suffered a 1-0 derby defeat to London rivals West Ham.
The Gunners lacked creativity without the World Cup winner, but Emery sought to defend his selection afterwards by claiming that he had enough quality within his side to cope without one player.
The Spaniard said of Ozil: “He’s working this week normally. Like I said we win with him and lose with him. Today the decision is to come with these players.
“But, like I have said, we have won with him and lost with him, and today I chose the players who deserved to play in this match.
“I decided that these players were the best for this match.
“We had enough players to win today. The quality is there. And I chose the players who deserved to play in this match.”
It now remains to be seen whether Ozil will be drafted back into the fold for a crunch clash with Chelsea on Saturday which could go a long way towards determining whether Arsenal remain in the hunt for a top-four finish.