Jamie Carragher says Mesut Ozil must be restored to the Arsenal team on a regular basis following the midfielder’s performance at Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Ozil made just his third start of the season at Anfield and produced an impressive performance, as Arsenal were defeated on penalties following a remarkable 5-5 draw in the Carabao Cup fourth-round.
The German playmaker has fallen out-of-favour under Unai Emery this season but provided a timely reminder of his qualities during a thrilling contest, having a hand in three of Arsenal’s goals before being substituted in a decision which was greeted by a chorus of boos from the travelling support.
Divock Origi’s stoppage-time equaliser would ultimately force penalties, Irish youngster Caoimhín Kelleher making the only save from Dani Ceballos as Liverpool advanced to a quarter-final meeting with Aston Villa.
Despite the club’s dramatic exit from the competition, Carragher believes the performance of Ozil demonstrated why he should be reinstated to the Arsenal first-team as the club look to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.
“I’m not Ozil’s biggest fan [but] you cannot tell me he is not good enough to get into this Arsenal team as this isn’t a great Arsenal team,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“The criticism with Ozil is whether he can take them to the Premier League title or the Champions League, but at the moment Arsenal are going for the top four. So he’s got to be in the team or best XI.
“No one is doing anything consistent for Arsenal at the moment, not just Ozil. If you look at the front three, I am sure they would love to have Ozil feeding them.
“Arsenal are in a position where so many players are not at the top of their game that they almost have to put up with what Ozil doesn’t do.”