Arsenal need to “move away” from a potentially distracting Mesut Ozil saga, says Nigel Winterburn, with a World Cup winner not expected to figure for the club again.
A German playmaker at Emirates Stadium continues to generate headlines in north London for all of the wrong reasons.
Mikel Arteta has taken to freezing Ozil out his plans, with no space found for the 32-year-old in Europa League and Premier League squads.
With his current contract set to expire in the summer of 2021, a parting of ways would appear to be on the cards.
That could happen in January, allowing all concerned to wipe the slate clean, but may not occur until lucrative terms come to an end.
If Ozil is to stick around, then there is seemingly little chance of him seeing any game time.
With a proven midfielder now part of Arsenal’s past, Winterburn wants focus to be locked on the present and future.
He acknowledges that questions will be asked of Ozil for as long as he continues to linger in the shadows, with many left puzzled by some surprising selection calls, but the Gunners have been urged to move on as a collective – on and off the field.
Former full-back Winterburn told FreeSuperTips: “Mesut Ozil is a terrific player and the one thing that he does give you is that he will create chances but at the same time he is not going to give you that defensive side to the game, with and without the ball, which is why he hasn’t been selected.
“When the team aren’t creating chances then Ozil’s name will always come up and we should try and move away from that because he is not going to be part of the squad and probably won’t be involved again at the football club, so he is not an option that Arsenal can consider.”
Ozil’s last outing for Arsenal came prior to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in March which brought competitive football to a close.
He has not been seen since, with the bench only made on a couple of occasions on the back of Project Restart, and now appears destined to leave English football with 254 appearances, 44 goals and 77 assists to his name.