Arsenal legend and former interim boss, Freddie Ljungberg, believes Mikel Arteta should be using Mesut Ozil in some games this season.
The Swede, speaking to The Athletic this week, offered his detailed take on the situation surrounding Ozil and admitted it wasn’t something he saw coming when he left in the summer.
Ozil has been isolated by Arteta and hasn’t been named in the squad. However, Arsenal have scored just nine Premier League goals, prompting some fans and pundits to question the Spaniard’s call on Ozil.
And Ljungberg believes that the German midfielder should be in the squad, admitting he has the quality needed to unlock defences.
“When I left in the summer he was in the squads and now he’s not. What’s happened there, I can’t answer. I don’t know if something else has happened, I have no clue. But if you look at pure football qualities, I think my answer is quite obvious.
“When I was interim coach, I would play him in the games when I thought he could unlock defences, even if I knew his defensive job was not as good as some other players. So that’s my opinion; there should be a space in certain games. Mesut has the total quality. I think there is a space for a player like that in those kind of games (against tight defences).”
Ljungberg left the Gunners in the summer and has been doing the rounds as a pundit of late. On Sky last week, he was vocal in his opinions on the Gunners and once again seemed perplexed by Ozil’s situation.
Something has to give, eventually – TBR View
While everyone should respect Arteta’s decision and it his call on who does and doesn’t play, the longer this goes on the more strange it seems.
Ozil is simply sat around doing nothing but train and pick up huge wages. That in itself is a concern, not the mention the fact the Gunners need someone of his ability in the first XI at times.
Ljungberg is right here. Ozil should be in the squad at least and would no doubt have made a difference at times this term.