Alan Smith believes Mesut Ozil is a lost cause for Arsenal and that it would be in everyone’s best interests if he left the club.
Mikel Arteta may be new to life as a head coach, but he’s already proven to be one unafraid of making big calls in his Arsenal line-up; as Mesut Ozil has found out recently.
Despite featuring under Arteta early on, the Gunners boss has left him out cold and remained evasive on questions surrounding the German’s future. If things continue this way, however, an exit is inevitable.
There have already been reports claiming the Arsenal board want to offload Ozil and be rid of his £350k-per-week wage bill.
The 31-year-old’s absence in Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup final victory against Chelsea last weekend only fueled this belief, with Smith certain an exit would be best.
“It seems that Arteta wants to draw a line under it, and convinced the players he’s not part of the plans,” the Gunners legend told Sky Sports.
“He’s passed the buck to Ozil and said: ‘What do you want to do about it?’
“Hopefully he leaves the club would be Arteta’s reasoning. That would free up a bit of money in terms of his wages.
“It’s always going to be a talking point for as long as Ozil’s at the club. I don’t know whether anything could happen in this transfer window, there aren’t too many links with any clubs.
“We might end up having this situation for another year until his contract runs out. He might get used now and again, but he won’t be a core figure in his plans.
“It’s something Arteta could have done without. He’s got enough on his plate, without constant questions about the German’s future.
“But Arteta is decisive; if he decides somebody doesn’t fit in going forward, no matter how much they’re earning, he’s not going to pick them. That’s strong management, and I think Arsenal need that.”
Smith added: “Can he fit in at Arsenal? No, I don’t think so. This is an era at the club where everybody has to really dig in and work incredibly hard off the ball.
“Ozil is too long in the tooth to change his game now, and I don’t think physically he is capable of doing what Arteta wants him to do, either.
“It might be another year before he leaves the club, but I can’t see much of a future there for him.”