Martin Keown has questioned the belief of Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, who has been frozen out at the Emirates Stadium this season.
The German attacking midfielder has played just two senior games across all competitions so far and is completely out favour with manager Unai Emery.
Ozil is an experienced playmaker that has played 233 senior games for the Gunners, but is struggling to even make the match day squad at present.
The 31-year-old has seen a number of young players move ahead of him in the pecking order and his isolation is bizarre considering he’s on a staggering £350,000-a-week deal (Spotrac).
Ex-Arsenal defender Keown has been critical of the attacker’s work-rate and is unsure on how much he wants to be at the Emirates.
“When I see somebody that I don’t feel is giving everything for the shirt then I feel like I want to question that. I think that is something we can’t escape from with Ozil,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“In the modern day game Emery wants you to graft and wants you to work. He’s got to want to work out of possession as well as with the ball. He hasn’t been doing that in training so he hasn’t even got past first base.”
Ozil is in an odd position where he can’t even force his way into the squad and his stock has fallen massively under Emery.
He is a creative force that would be great ammunition for strikers like Alexander Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but it is the other areas of his game that aren’t quite up to scratch for the high intensity style of play that the manager wants.
Emery has praised Ozil for his work in training ahead of the Monday’s game against Sheffield United, so it will be intriguing to see if he’s involved and can break back into the side.
He is still under contract until 2021, but surely he won’t stay around for much longer if his limited chances remain the same.