Cesc Fabregas suggested that Mesut Ozil needs top players like Cristiano Ronaldo in the team to flourish and questioned his leadership skills for Arsenal.
Ozil had starred at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2010 and 2013, where he registered an impressive tally of 80 assists in 159 appearances. He also got on the scoresheet 27 times.
The German playmaker had, in fact, recorded the most assists in the top-five European leagues during his final season at Real Madrid.
Despite Ronaldo’s objections, however, Los Blancos sold Ozil to Arsenal in September 2013 for a staggering €50m.
The 30-year-old was widely expected to lead Arsenal into a new glorious era in light of some difficult times at the Emirates Stadium.
Instead, Ozil has fallen below expectations and he’s regularly been criticised for his lacklustre displays which have only become more frequent as the years have gone by.
And the former Germany international once again failed to make an impact on Wednesday as Arsenal were humbly thrashed 4-1 by London rivals Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku.
It cost the Gunners a chance to return to Champions League football following a two-season absence.
And Fabregas was among those to ponder Ozil’s contribution in the final.
“I think sometimes you just have it inside or you don’t have it,” the ex-Arsenal star told BT Sport.
“When he was at Real Madrid he was surrounded by top, top players and one of the best players in the history of the sport in Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’m not taking anything away from Mesut, he played top football there, but once you step down a little bit, because we can all agree Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich they are top three, you have to show yourself a little bit more because you don’t have the same quality around you.
“The club buys you to be the actual leader around the club.
“I don’t think Mesut has that in him to carry. I don’t train with him every day, but I don’t think he has it in him to be a leader.”