Mesut Ozil should not get back into Arsenal’s starting line up against Watford this weekend, according to Gunners legend Paul Merson.
The Gunners are back in action after the international break, and travel to Vicarage Road for Saturday’s late kick-off.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Ozil is back in contention after returning to full training, though Merson believes he shouldn’t automatically make it back into the first XI.
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Ozil’s work rate has been criticised on a number of occasions in the past, and Merson is another who believes the Germany international doesn’t have enough impact on games considering his talent.
‘I wouldn’t put Mesut Ozil back into the side. He doesn’t work hard enough for the team,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘He is a top player but the least you can do is work hard. If you have got talent you have had a result – and he has talent – but I have seen players with much less talent than him have a bigger impact on games, which can’t be right.’
In fairness to Arsenal, they haven’t missed Ozil a great deal in his recent absence, with the side winning six and drawing one of their last seven games since losing 4-0 to Liverpool at the end of August.
Ozil has only played 97 minutes of action in an Arsenal shirt since that day at Anfield, but it also didn’t prevent them from a rare point away to Chelsea last month.
Ozil is also yet to sign a new contract at the Emirates Stadium, with the Independent claiming recently that he’s a target for rivals Manchester United.
This led another Arsenal legend, Martin Keown, to criticise Ozil in an interview on BBC 5 Live.
‘I think in some departments he’s already left,’ Keown was quoted in the Telegraph. ‘Psychologically, mentally, he’s already left the football club. Maybe Wenger is now trying to do the best deal he can to get some compensation for him.’