Former Arsenal defender Lauren has claimed that if Mesut Ozil really was a “top player” then he would not have found himself frozen out at Emirates Stadium.
A World Cup winner is being ushered out of the back door in north London, with a switch to Turkish giants Fenerbahce in the process of being pushed through.
Ozil will depart having taken in over 250 appearances for the Gunners, but with serious questions being asked of whether he ever truly delivered on his promise.
Critics were quick to pull the former Germany international up on his form and commitment long before he found himself frozen out completely under current boss Mikel Arteta.
Lauren considers that to be proof that Ozil was never the player Arsenal needed him to be, with consistency lacking from a midfielder that boasts match-winning ability on his day.
“Sometimes you have to reach an agreement with the player and find the best thing for both – the club and player,” ex-Gunners defender Lauren told Stadium Astro of a long-running saga coming to a close.
“I believe there is something going on that we didn’t know about.
“There are two sides – when you are a top player and you have such quality as Ozil, if you don’t play with [Unai] Emery and you don’t play with Arteta, do we have to blame the manager or the club? I don’t believe so.
“If you are a top player and are consistent week in, week out then there is no manager that is going to have you on the sideline and leave you out. That would put pressure on the manager.
“The best players at Real Madrid and Barcelona, would the manager put them on the bench week in, week out? I don’t believe so.
“When you are a top player, there is no manager that can put you on the bench, it’s impossible.”
Lauren added on Arsenal’s efforts to get a big earner off their books: “If the manager doesn’t count on a player, the player has to find a solution.
“The best solution for him is to move away and find a place where he can be the leader. He is going to feel comfortable and at home. This is the best news for both sides.
“For Arsenal, they don’t have to pay big wages and for the player, he is moving to a place he can play week in, week out.”
With Ozil bringing a seven-and-a-half-year spell at Arsenal to a close, the No.10 jersey is about to come up for grabs.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have their eye on that, but Lauren believes a promising academy graduate could be next in line.
A member of the Gunners’ ‘Invincibles’ squad from 2003-04 said of a shirt battle: “Let’s wait until the end of the season.
“For the position he plays, maybe [Emile] Smith Rowe. If he keeps going with consistency, maybe he could have the No.10 for next season.”