Martin Keown has told Stadium Astro that he believes Arsenal could look to release Mesut Ozil this summer and pay the playmaker’s contract up – rather than waiting until the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
Ozil, 31, has failed to play a single minute of Arsenal’s campaign since the return of football – remaining an unused substitute against Brighton and Southampton, but failing to make the squad for the other four matches.
Along with Matteo Guendouzi, Arteta has suggested that his attitude has not been good enough. The £350,000-a-week German is set to see his contract expire next summer, and Arsenal may be forced to keep him until then.
But Invicibles man Keown reckons Arsenal could get rid of Ozil this summer by paying up the rest of his contract, and making him a free agent in the coming months in order to get Ozil off the wage bill.
“I don’t think he has a future at Arsenal,” Keown said. “This summer, I think we may see the player being paid off. It is about protecting the next generation, but it is a real shame. He is a magnificent talent.
“But if you are not willing to work hard out of possession, you do not get to play in this team. This is Mikel Arteta’s new style of Arsenal but if you’re unwilling to put the work in – then you do not get to play.”
TBR’s view – Keep Ozil for another season or release him?
Ozil has repeatedly stated that he is keen on remaining at Arsenal for another season until his contract releases, with the former Real Madrid star seemingly keen to rake in his enormous deal until it expires.
But if Arsenal can meet with Ozil and strike a mutual termination of the contract, surely that is win win for all parties involved? It is clear he is not in Arteta’s plans – so paying him off makes sense.