Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit believes Mesut Ozil is nothing more than a “ghost” now, which has prompted Unai Emery to drop him.
Despite being the club’s highest earner with a weekly wage of £350,000, Ozil has struggled to break into new manager Emery’s plans at Arsenal this season.
The 30-year-old playmaker has only made two appearances in 2019 with his future at the Emirates Stadium now in big doubt.
But Petit thinks Ozil has simply lost his touch now and is even a “ghost” on the pitch for Arsenal, which is why Emery has to keep him benched.
“I have huge respect for Ozil but the Ozil I used to watch years ago, he was one of the best-attacking midfield players in the world, he was a pleasure to watch,” Petit told the Daily Mirror.
“Now it’s not even a pleasure or a desire to see him in the team because he’s lost it.
“Ozil is a big player but he’s not a big personality. He never talks. Sometimes I think he’s a ghost on the pitch. He never says anything to his team-mates. He never shows any emotion.”
Former Gunners midfielder Ray Parlour warned Emery on Friday that he risks putting his job on the line with Ozil in a similar way that saw Paris Saint-Germain fire him last summer after a power struggle against Neymar.
“For me it’s simple,” added Petit.
“After the World Cup with the German team. We all know why he was made responsible [for Germany’s poor World Cup], because of the picture with [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan.
“But before this when was the last time you saw Ozil playing really well on the pitch? Even two years before the last World Cup he was playing one game good, then five games like this [badly]. It was like this for the last two years.
“So it started two years before the World Cup. The World Cup was the knife and because of that and the fact he’s the best-paid player in the team he has lost his motivation and I think he’s waiting for his retirement.”
Ozil has managed four goals and two assists in 18 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal this season.
Despite the doubt surrounding his future, however, the former Germany international hinted he would fight for his place at Arsenal after being left out of Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to BATE Borisov in Belarus.
Ozil used a quote from Gunners great Dennis Bergkamp in the Tweet he posted below.
'When you start supporting a football club, you don't support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.' 🙏🏼 || #DennisBergkamp pic.twitter.com/kKM8kDhm8T
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) February 15, 2019