Paul Merson has suggested that Mesut Ozil “must sit there and he think he might as well retire if he can’t get into this Arsenal team”.
The German midfielder has endured a humbling tumble down the Gunners pecking order since Unai Emery took the reins.
Once considered to be the main man under Arsene Wenger and a player deserving of a lucrative new contract, the 30-year-old is now struggling for game time.
That is despite Arsenal remaining an inconsistent outfit that could often do with the flashes of inspiration that Ozil is capable of providing on his day.
Former Gunners star Merson is baffled by the snubbing of the club’s biggest talent and has joked that a World Cup winner may now be considering hanging up his boots.
“You play your best players and work around them,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Ozil is Arsenal's best player and he doesn't play, it beats me.
“He must sit at home and watch Arsenal and think ‘how am I not getting into this team?’
“I don't know if they are trying to push him into retirement, because he must sit there and think he might as well retire if he can't get into this Arsenal team.”
Since Ozil seriously fell out of favour during the hectic festive period, Arsenal have suffered five defeats in their last 10 outings.
Merson believes Emery has to consider bringing a proven performer back into his side, with the Gunners now sweating on a top-four finish in the Premier League and their Europa League challenge.
He added: “Ozil is not so influential that you have to build a team around him, but he has to play because he is their best player.
“He's not going to run around and put sliding tackles in, that is never going to happen, but he makes things happen.
“Arsenal have to stick with him, they are not good enough not to have him in the team.”
Having already exited the FA Cup, Arsenal’s next outing will be the second leg of a Europa League last 32 tie with BATE that they currently trail 1-0.