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Arsenal's transfer budget is 'ridiculous' and Ozil must go - Aliadiere

8:53 PM GMT 24/07/2019
Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2019-20
A former Gunner has said he cannot understand where the money goes and that the Germany international must be moved on so Arsenal can rebuild

Former Arsenal forward Jeremie Aliadiere has blasted the club’s transfer budget, labelling it ‘ridiculous’ and said they must part ways with Mesut Ozil so they can ‘begin anew’.

The Gunners have been linked with Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace, but their bid of around £40 million ($80m) has been rejected by the Eagles, who value the player at £80 million. It has been suggested Arsenal’s total transfer budget is £45m.

The Frenchman, once tipped as a future star under Arsene Wenger and who says he’s an Arsenal supporter first and foremost, understands how the South London club could view such a low bid for their talisman as disrespectful. 

“I’m an Arsenal fan,” said Aliadiere, speaking exclusively to 888sports .

“It’s frustrating when you see a club like Leicester, who with all respect to them are a smaller club, spending £75m so far this summer yet Arsenal can’t seemingly afford to spend the money that Leicester can.

“It’s difficult to understand where the money goes.

“There has been talk that Arsenal want Wilfried Zaha who Crystal Palace supposedly value at £80m and we were reported to have offered them half that.

“If that’s true, it seems a bit ridiculous and could be seen as disrespectful to Crystal Palace.

“We understand there are high salaries going on Ozil and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan but surely there is still some money around for transfers.”

On the subject of Ozil, the highest-earner at the club, Aliadiere said the player must be sold if there has been a breakdown between the Germany international and manager Unai Emery.

The former forward, who last represented Lorient in 2016 before stepping away from the game, believes losing Ozil would cost the team on the pitch, but that they can ill afford to have such an expensive piece if he is not going to play.

“I can understand that if Emery is not a fan of Ozil he needs to move on so that Arsenal can get somebody else, but that is very difficult to do with the five-year deal,” the former Middlesbrough man continued.

“It’s a tough one because I feel when Ozil plays he does bring something different to the team and [Alexandre] Lacazette and [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang clearly enjoy playing with him.

“Obviously Emery sees things we don’t see and maybe in training his work-rate is not there and work-rate is really important to Emery.

“I think they have a different philosophy on how to play the game.

“It’s a difficult situation and I can see both sides, if they get an opportunity to sell him, Arsenal right now need to sell in order to bring in other players and when you look at the supposed breakdown between player and manager last year, I would understand if they decided to do that.”

Read the full 888sport interview with Jeremie Aliadiere, including his thoughts on why Arsenal cannot rely on Lacazette and Aubameyang alone to get top four.