Charlie Nicholas has claimed on Sky Sports that Mesut Ozil has seemingly “downed tools” in Arsenal training and believes Unai Emery is against bringing him back into the side because of that.
Ozil, 31, has managed just two appearances for Arsenal this season. Since joining the club from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for a fee of £42.5million, Ozil has since clocked up 233 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.
It is difficult to pinpoint what has happened to Ozil this season, after he played 35 times last season. He has been linked with a move, while fans do not believe he is worth his enormous £350k-a-week contract.
Now, Nicholas has given an explanation as to why Ozil is struggling for game time this season. He believes the 92-time Germany international has stopped trying in Arsenal training, and that is why Emery is against picking the former Schalke star.
“It sounds to me like Ozil has just downed tools and is not putting in what the manager is demanding in training,” Nicholas said. “Because of that, Emery has decided that if you don’t train properly then I won’t be putting you anywhere near the team.”
TBR’s view – Nicholas’ Arsenal-Ozil claim makes sense
If Ozil was performing in training, then he would surely be involved in Arsenal’s matchday squad. His contract is until the summer of 2021, so it is hardly as though Arsenal are edging him out before he leaves next summer.
Some Arsenal fans want to see Ozil in the first team, but if they had the knowledge that the playmaker is not trying his hardest in training, then surely they will understand why Emery is overlooking Ozil.