Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit says “beautiful player” Mesut Ozil no longer possesses the motivation to play at the highest level of the game.
The German’s place in the Arsenal squad has been a cause for much debate this season, despite signing a new £300,000-a-week contract last year.
Ozil’s performances have dipped this season and he hasn’t even featured for the Gunners in the Premier League since coming off at half-time in the 1-1 draw away to Brighton on Boxing Day.
Club legend Petit this week revealed why he thinks Ozil is no longer the player he once was:
“I think he lost his motivation and desire. He now looks as if he is just waiting for his retirement,’’ Petit told the Mirror.
“A player losing his motivation happens a lot. We are not robots. Sometimes you get into a new season and it’s just not the same. It’s very difficult to play at the same level all of the time.
“If you earn so much money, have already won so many titles and, on top of that, if you have problems in your private life… I don’t know what’s going on in his life, but I can see what’s going on out on the pitch and his body language is not good.
“It’s a great shame, because I hope he can do something not just for himself but also for the club. He’s a beautiful player, but he needs to be loved.
As for what happens next in the former World Cup winner’s career, Petit does not see Ozil exiting Arsenal in this transfer window.
“It’s January. In two weeks’ time, the market is closed. I don’t see him leaving the club. Where would he go? To China? Honestly. You want to see Ozil finish his career in China?
“I’ve nothing against China, but for a player like Ozil, that cannot happen.
“I think the club needs Ozil, Ozil needs to understand that and he must get over his frustration and try to fight until the end. To somehow save his pride.”