Arsenal legend Keown accuses Ozil and Alexis of 'downing tools'

Alexis Sanchez Mesut Ozil Arsenal
The former Gunners defender fears that meeting the salary demands of the star duo in contract extension talks could end up doing more harm than good

Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez “down tools” and “throw their toys out of the pram” when the going gets tough, says Martin Keown.

The Gunners have spent much of the 2016-17 campaign trying to tempt the star duo into committing to fresh terms.

Both are due to be out of contract in 2018 and Arsenal are running a risk in letting their terms run down.

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Keown, though, believes that neither is fully committed to the cause, especially in times of trouble, and feels meeting their salary demands could end up doing more harm than good.

The former Gunners defender wrote in the Daily Mail: “The club have to work out whether they are willing to push the boat out and pay Sanchez and Ozil substantially more than anyone else.

“They are two special players for [Arsene] Wenger. He warms to players who are particularly gifted with the ball — they are the core of his beliefs in football.

Mesut Ozil Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

“But there can be problems if you over indulge them. When there was talk of Sanchez and Ozil wanting out, it coincided with Arsenal losing seven games in 12 and getting knocked out of the Champions League.

“Sanchez and Ozil downed tools during those games. There is a fear that if Arsenal give them ridiculous sums of money to stay, they could throw their toys out of the pram once more when things go wrong.

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“It seems unlikely that they will stay at the club.”

Ozil and Sanchez have both claimed over recent weeks that contract talks will be re-opened at the end of the season, with Arsenal currently chasing down a top-four finish in the Premier League and FA Cup glory.

They have just one game left to play in the league, and sit one point behind Liverpool in fifth, while London rivals Chelsea stand between them and major silverware at Wembley Stadium.