Djourou urged to leave Arsenal by Switzerland boss Hitzfeld

The former Bayern Munich manager has suggested that the defender should depart the Gunners in order to gain first-team football, after leaving him out against Germany

Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld has urged defender Johan Djourou to seek a move away from Arsenal in order to improve his chances at international level.

The 25-year-old has struggled for playing time this year after falling behind Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the Gunners’ pecking order, and this has had an adverse effect on his international career.

Djourou was on the bench in Switzerland’s 5-3 friendly win over Germany on Saturday, as Cesena’s Steve Von Bergen started alongside ex-Arsenal center back Philippe Senderos in the heart of the Swiss defense.

Hitzfeld explained that this exclusion was due to lack of match practice, and encouraged Djourou to leave Arsene Wenger’s side in search of first-team football as Switzerland gears up for the start of its World Cup 2014 qualification campaign.

"For Djourou, the question arises of a transfer," Hitzfeld told RTS Sport.

"If he wants to be selected, he must have some game time in the club. This is not the case at Arsenal."

Djourou previously spent time on loan at Birmingham City in order to ensure his selection for World Cup 2008, and signed a new three-year contract extension at the Emirates Stadium in February.

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