Mesut Ozil does not "have it in him to be a leader”, says Cesc Fabregas, with a former Arsenal star suggesting that one in the present team requires someone like Cristiano Ronaldo alongside him in order to thrive.
The German playmaker once boasted such illustrious club colleagues.
He graced the books at Real Madrid alongside Ronaldo and a number of other world-class talents and big personalities.
A move to England was intended to make him a talisman in his own right, but the World Cup winner has struggled to become a go-to man for the Gunners.
His inability to dictate proceedings was highlighted once again during a forgettable showing from both him and those around him in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
Arsenal slumped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of domestic rivals Chelsea in a European showpiece, with Fabregas among those to question Ozil’s input on a game which raised familiar questions.
The ex-Gunners midfielder told BT Sport: “I think sometimes you just have it inside or you don’t have it.
“When he was at Real Madrid he was surrounded by top, top players and one of the best players in the history of the sport in Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’m not taking anything away from Mesut, he played top football there, but once you step down a little bit, because we can all agree Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich they are top three, you have to show yourself a little bit more because you don’t have the same quality around you.
“The club buys you to be the actual leader around the club.
“I don’t think Mesut has that in him to carry. I don’t train with him every day, but I don’t think he has it in him to be leader.”
Ozil has just completed a sixth season at Arsenal.
He has taken in over 230 appearances, netted 43 goals and recorded an impressive number of assists.
There have, however, been questions of his contribution throughout his time in north London.
Inconsistency has plagued his performances and it has been suggested that a move elsewhere could be on the cards.
The 30-year-old only committed to a lucrative new contract in 2018, and has stated a desire to remain at Emirates Stadium, but changes are expected this summer as Unai Emery seeks to make the necessary tweaks to a side that will be without Champions League football for a third successive season.